Australia is facing the possibility of another “unprecedented” weather event as extreme flooding across Queensland and New South Wales submerges entire towns.
In the immediate aftermath, there’s a fresh problem for many Australians who live in flood-ravaged areas. Along with the destruction of livelihoods, homes wat, supplies, and infrastructure, it isn’t easy to find food. The stores are in a shortage of fresh food items. Supermarkets are being required to establish restrictions on purchases of certain food items.
The shelves of supermarkets are empty, and a temporary supply of food is becoming frequent in Australia because of interruptions in the collection of food due to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as extreme weather conditions.
Australia is likely to experience extreme weather conditions and catastrophes such as heatwaves, floods as well as droughts, bushfires, and floods to get more frequent and more severe, according to the most recent report from the world’s authority called The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Food supplies are likely to be disrupted more frequently, and food prices will increase.
Our governments mostly depend heavily on food companies to ensure that our supply chains are resistant to these risks. Also, they rely on charities to provide food to those who are hungry following catastrophes.
As climate-related threats increase and the climate becomes more dangerous, our responses aren’t enough. It is time for the government to become the leader.
These shocks affect the whole food chain.
Pandemic and climate-related shocks can pose real problems for the entire food chain, from the production stage to transportation to consumption. Just in the last few days, flooding has caused damage or destroyed vegetables in low-lying areas within the Lockyer Valley near Brisbane, an extremely productive horticultural region.
Fresh food products have suffered affected in storage facilities, and markets in Brisbane Markets had to shut down because of flood destruction.
The Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane is blocked in some areas, which has impacted the distribution of food items to certain supermarkets as food aids for emergencies are provided to residents affected by the floods. The amount of food waste in the area is expected to rise due to the loss of crops, delays in food transport, and power interruptions.
In the spring of this season, West Australia had food shortages that were described as ” the worst in memory” following the floods that swept away 300 kilometers of the sole railway that connects it to east-central states.
Food supply shocks are the ones that have the biggest effect on the most vulnerable.
Floods, as well as the pandemic, impact a lot of people due to short-term food insecurity and rising prices for food. However, the most severe impact is on those who are already who are at risk of becoming food insecure; that is, they might not have access to regular nutritious and safe food to live an active and healthy lifestyle.
The rates for food insecurity across Australia are the highest for Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander peoples, asylum seekers, those who are not employed, and those living in households with low incomes.
In the first year of the pandemic, Australian demand increased by a third for food aid. A greater number of people were forced into poverty, including those working in casual jobs who lost their jobs, temporary migrant workers, and international students.
As of 2021, one-sixth (17 percent) of Australian adults were severely insecure with regard to food in the country. 1.2 million kids were believed to be in households with food insecurity.
Prior to the outbreak, levels of food insecurity had reached alarming levels. Food relief demand within Australia has grown dramatically over the last ten years. This could be due to general causes, including inadequate levels of income assistance.
Food systems must be resilient. systems more resilient
The government must urgently develop plans to strengthen the resilience of food and nutrition systems to stresses and shocks. The current situation is that governments have strategies for managing emergency food resources in the event of a natural disaster.
It’s not enough. We need an increased focus on enhancing the adaptability of food systems for a myriad of future shocks resulting from climate change, pandemics, and even changes in geopolitics following the Russian incursion into Ukraine.
What does this be like? What do you think? informationgraphic highlights the key characteristics of a resilient food system. Based on our study of Melbourne’s system of food.
One aspect is the variety in the places and methods we get our food. Local and international small and large scale commercial and community businesses, supermarkets, as well as various food stores.
Another issue is a decentralized food supply chain, in which food processing, distribution, and retailing are distributed across a number of places and organizations. The pandemic has revealed the dangers of concentrated processes for food production as well as distribution.
Also, we need to improve regional and local chains of supply for food. Food supply chains that connect individuals directly to local food sources could improve the resilience of food systems when larger food supply chains are interrupted. They also help to build communities.
Our government leaders must lead.
It’s a common belief that Australia is an extremely food-secure country simply because we export and produce many food items.
However, it’s important to remember that food security is more than just the quantity of food we can produce. It’s about ensuring that everyone has access to nutritious food as well as making sure our food supply is durable.
We cannot count on the industry or charity organizations to deal with our growing rate of food insecurity. We must help after natural disasters.
Australian governments must have plans for food resilience where they outline their strategies to ensure that all Australians can access adequate nutritious food sources in the face of ever-increasing fluctuations in food supply.
Access to food that is adequate is an essential human right. The governments of the world have a responsibility to support us in fulfilling this right.