BusinessStudy Finds French Fry Supply Chain Resilient to Climate Change

Study Finds French Fry Supply Chain Resilient to Climate Change

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A new study has found french fries and pasta sauce are resilient to climate change, an Oct. 21 news release from the University of Florida says.

The study which was lead by researchers at the University of Florida, had researchers develop an innovative modelling approach to the assessment of climate adaptation and mitigation opportunities in fruit and vegetable supply chains.

“This research represents the first time scientists have been able to evaluate how changes in our climate and increased competition for resources will impact farmers’ ability to increase production of fruits and vegetables,” Clyde Fraisse, a University of Florida professor involved with the study, says in the release.

The release notes the novel methodology used includes climate, crop, economic and life cycle assessment models, applied to United States potato and tomato supply chains. Crop modelling shows planting strategies can be used to avoid higher temperatures. The release says land and water footprints will decline over time due to higher yield, and greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated by waste reduction and process modification.

“Today’s models are not able to fully assess the potential impact of future extreme weather events, including tropical storms and heat waves that may affect crops with more or less intensity depending on their development phase,” Fraisse explains.

“We assumed irrigation will continue to be fully available, which is a reasonable assumption for these higher value crops, but it might not be true for regions like California’s San Joaquin Valley, once you look beyond the 2050 time horizon of our study,” David Gustafson, a scientist with the Agriculture and Food Systems Institute and the study’s lead author, says in the release.

The research was published in Nature Food and is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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