Knowledge for better food systems

Shortening supply chains for regional resilience

This report by UK charity the Soil Association argues that COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility of long supply chains, and that supporting shorter supply chains will make the food system more resilient and sustainable. It also gives examples of localised food supply initiatives in the UK.

The report recommends:

  • National and local governments should support local food sourcing in public procurement.
  • Government should recognise and pay for public goods delivered by sustainable and regional food production.
  • Local governments should integrate regional food supply chains into their climate mitigation strategies.
  • Pilot areas for localised public procurement should help to coordinate and map local food producers.
  • IT and logistics support should be provided to local food hubs.

Read the full report, Shortening Supply Chains: Roads to Regional Resilience, here. See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems. Read other COVID-19 content in the FCRN’s research library here.


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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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