Food Supply Scenarios
In 2009, VicHealth funded a VEIL-led consortium to investigate whether challenges to food production could impact on Victorian menu planning and the availability of a nutritious diet.
This research discovery project was undertaken by the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (at the University of Melbourne), Deakin University and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems with Victorian Government partners including the Department of Planning and Community Development.
The objective of this project was to develop and demonstrate a new methodology to link land and resource use with availability of a nutritionally adequate food supply for Victoria's population. To do so, it has built the capability of the CSIRO stocks and flows model as a platform for on-going 'what-if' investigation of Victorian and Australian food supply security.
This Australian-first research has built an evidence base for examining how cumulative changes in complex modern food systems can impact on the fruit, vegetables, meat, grains and milk that ends up on our tables. Rapid climate change and concerted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been assumed in all scenarios.
In the project, we created and projected three possible food supply scenarios to 2060, factoring in exports, imports, climate change, food production practices, fuel and water use, waste, environmental awareness, population growth and economic growth.
The three scenarios examined in the project are:
Adjustment - Production of food is focused on getting the highest return, with land preservation a low priority. Food is more likely to be exported for top dollar than reserved for locals. If we don‟t produce enough, food is imported from wherever in the world it can be efficiently and cheaply produced.
Control - Allocation of land and resources is nationally monitored and carefully managed by governments to seek food and energy security from domestic supplies.
Do it Yourself - Food production and distribution relies on a series of networks, with greater interaction between consumers and producers, increasing diversity of products and social pride in "local food‟. Innovation and experimentation are encouraged. Great environmental awareness and rapid greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
The full report and a shorter summary version are available for download below.
- Background paper
- Workshop handbook - outlining the dynamics and drivers and the process undertaken
- Compilation of scenarios in two parts: Part 1 - International scenario processes, and Part 2 - Australian / Victorian processes
The first workshop for our VicHealth Food Supply Scenarios project was held on 23rd November.
The overarching aim of the Workshop was to generate material that informs the development of the exploratory scenarios. This workshop was NOT intended to arrive at a set of scenarios or defined scenario outlines. It DID generate information and thinking that will inform an iterative scenario development process by the project team
The key question for the workshop was:
“What dynamics, or combinations of dynamics, could affect secure and sustainable provision of food for the Victorian community?"
Links are provided below to a range of background materials that may be of interest
The Copenhagen Conference on Food Security, Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute - 10 November 2009
VicHealth has funded a VEIL-led consortium to investigate whether challenges to food production and increasing accountability for the environmental impacts of our food (as carbon and water prices become commonplace) could impact on Victorian menu planning and our ability to access a healthy diet.
These questions that will be explored in a new research discovery project funded by VicHealth and undertaken by the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (at the University of Melbourne), Deakin University and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems with Victorian Government partners including the Department of Planning and Community Development.
A video of Chris Ryan discussing the project can be accessed here.
This project will develop a range of scenarios to explore how our access to a healthy diet is affected by different combinations of: unpredictable and uncontrollable external conditions; and our chosen pathways for developing sustainable and secure food supplies.
Scenario workshops will be held in Melbourne in November 2009.