Connecting resilience, food security and climate change: lessons from flooding in Queensland, Australia

MacMahon, Amy, Smith, Kiah and Lawrence, Geoffrey (2015) Connecting resilience, food security and climate change: lessons from flooding in Queensland, Australia. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5 3: 378-391. doi:10.1007/s13412-015-0278-0

Author MacMahon, Amy
Smith, Kiah
Lawrence, Geoffrey
Title Connecting resilience, food security and climate change: lessons from flooding in Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2190-6483
Publication date 2015-09
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s13412-015-0278-0
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 378
End page 391
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The Australian food system is often assumed to be largely secure in the face of global environmental challenges such as climate change. In 2010/2011, serious flooding in Queensland left towns isolated, major roads and highways cut and incurred significant loss of life and property. In terms of food security, large areas of agricultural land were inundated, and food supply chains, including both long and short chains, were affected in significant ways. The impacts included increases in food prices; deterioration in food quality; reduced consumer access to food; and disruption to the sourcing, transportation and distribution of food, grocery and other items. Examining the discourses and policies surrounding food supply during and after the floods, this paper asks, what lessons for building a more resilient food system have emerged from the 2011 floods? To explore this question, we consider policy documents, media reports, interviews and fieldwork with key stakeholders. We find evidence of strong collaboration of state government and long supply chain operators, but to the general exclusion of civil society-based food chains. Long chains provide the vast bulk of food to Queensland consumers but are vulnerable when roads are cut; civic agriculture showed resilience but remained marginal to the food needs of most Queensland consumers. Both resilience and vulnerability were present within both long and short food supply chains. Yet, there is limited evidence that food security issues, beyond productivity enhancement, are being considered in discussions and policies for climate change and natural disasters. We suggest that a broader view of climate change, beyond disasters and food production, has yet to be fully integrated into food security policy—and supply chain governance and practice—in Australia.
Keyword Resilience
Food supply
Alternative food networks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 07 Jul 2015, 14:36:09 EST by Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Lawrence on behalf of School of Social Science