2013 will be 'crucial year' for food supply chain

2 January 2013

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2 January 2013 | Adam Leach

The food and agricultural supply chain will need to develop “fresh thinking” and spread risk more evenly over the next 12 months to address the challenges presented by extreme weather and higher food prices.

In a new year message, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), which represents British farmers, welcomed progress made in the past year, such as moves by retailers to work more closely with farmers, but called for further action in 2013. Citing the recent flooding in the UK and hurricane Sandy in the US, the union stressed the need for the whole supply chain to work on the challenges posed by the weather.

Peter Kendall, NFU president, said: “We have seen how these events can have a devastating effect on populations around the world. But extreme weather will certainly also require fresh thinking from agricultural policy and the whole food supply chain to ensure that our farmers can adapt and our food supply is resilient.”

Specifically, Kendall called for more co-operation across the supply chain and a more balanced approach to the sharing of risk. He also welcomed the decision to appoint an adjudicator for the Grocery Supply Code of Practice, who will be announced in early 2013, saying it will help “root out bad practice in the supply chain”.

Highlighting the importance of the next 12 months, Kendall said “this will be a crucial year when the building blocks for a secure food supply and resilient farming sector are put in place”.

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