This paper provides new insights into the food security performance of long and short food chains, through an analysis of the resilience of such chains during the severe weather events that occurred in the Australian State of Queensland in early 2011. Widespread flooding cut roads and highways, isolated towns, and resulted in the deaths of people and animals. Farmlands were inundated and there were food shortages in many towns. We found clear evidence that the supermarket-based (long) food chain delivery system experienced significant difficulties in supplying food to flood-affected towns. In contrast, more localized (short) food supply chains—which relied upon supply from growers in peri-urban areas and community-based food initiatives—remained largely intact, and provided food at a time when the supermarkets were limited in their ability to respond to consumer demand. However, on closer examination of food distribution during flooding in the regional city of Rockhampton and in the State capital, Brisbane, the demarcation of success between “long” and “short” food chains became blurred.

Source: The resilience of long and short food chains: a case study of flooding in Queensland, Australia – Online First – Springer

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