Australians warned to prepare for a food supply crisis


Australians are warned to prepare for a food supply crisis that could cause even more empty shelves at supermarkets

  • Report warns Australia is unprepared for food crisis caused by climate change
  • Aussie shoppers to expect to see more empty supermarket shelves in the future
  • Sea-level rise and warming of planet will impact Australia’s national food chain 
  • Report warns federal government is ‘ill-prepared’ for worsening food shortages  

A new report has warned Australia is ‘unprepared’ for a growing food crisis triggered by global warming and the war in Ukraine.

Australia and the Asia-Pacific region have been described as a ‘disaster alley’ for climate change, with the report stating the government is ‘ill-prepared’ for the crisis.

The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group predicts global warming will cause crop production to decline by 2040 and compromise the water supply.

The grim predictions have prompted former military leaders to urge Australia to prepare for ‘big consequences’ to the food supply.

A new report has warned Australia is ‘unprepared’ for a growing food crisis triggered by global warming and the war in Ukraine (pictured, a Sydney shopper in Coles)

The report from the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group says a warming planet will cause crop production to decline (pictured, floods in Goodna, west of Brisbane in February)

The report from the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group says a warming planet will cause crop production to decline (pictured, floods in Goodna, west of Brisbane in February)

The effects of extreme heatwaves and sea-level rise will cause ‘enormous consequences’ for Australia, the report states. 

It warns global warming will impact the national supply chain, exacerbate geopolitical tensions and see an increased need for disaster relief. 

Former Australian defence force chief Chris Barrie said disruptions to the food supply caused by a variety of factors would lead to further conflicts. 

‘Food insecurity is a growing crisis brought into the spotlight by the invasion of Ukraine, and it is a crisis that Australia is ill-prepared for,’ Mr Barrie said. 

Former defence ministers said the invasion of Ukraine has brought food insecurity into the spotlight (pictured, the aftermath of a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine)

Former defence ministers said the invasion of Ukraine has brought food insecurity into the spotlight (pictured, the aftermath of a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine)

Global warming also poses a threat to Australia’s growing systems as farmers on the east coast battle major floods and an unseasonably cold start to the season. 

The report warns the lack of global response to climate change will result in ‘great pressure on the Australian defence force as well as disaster relief agencies. 

Aussie households have been warned the repetition of extreme weather events such as the east coast floods will have unpredictable impacts on food production. 

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves at their local supermarket and for prices to remain the same, or perhaps even increase by the year’s end. 

As Australia’s cost of living crisis continues, fresh food prices have come under the spotlight after rising above the rate of inflation.

Global warming also poses a threat to Australia's growing systems as farmers on the east coast battle a series of major flooding events (pictured, Queensland floodwaters in May)

Global warming also poses a threat to Australia’s growing systems as farmers on the east coast battle a series of major flooding events (pictured, Queensland floodwaters in May)

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves at their local supermarket and for prices to remain the same, or perhaps even increase by the year's end

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves at their local supermarket and for prices to remain the same, or perhaps even increase by the year’s end

The cost of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some east coast supermarkets after an unseasonably cold start to the season and floods. 

The latest CPI figures showed the cost of fruits and vegetables grew by 6.7 per cent in the March quarter compared to a year ago, with the rate of inflation at 5.1 per cent.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned the inflation rate will be ‘certainly higher’ than the 5.1 per cent rate in the March quarter and will get worse.

Speaking on ABC show Insiders on Sunday, he said: ‘Inflation will be significantly higher than what was expected in the last government’s most recent Budget.

The cost of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some east coast supermarkets after an unseasonably cold start to the season and floods

The cost of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some east coast supermarkets after an unseasonably cold start to the season and floods

‘Certainly higher than the 5.1 per cent we saw in the March quarter.’

He added: ‘This inflation problem will get more difficult before it starts to ease.’

Most developed nations are battling high inflation largely due to supply chain disruptions, the large amount of money printed during the Covid pandemic and high energy prices due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said climate change will be a key theme of the upcoming federal budget due to be handed down in October. 

Mr Albanese has pledged to launch a climate security threat assessment to examine how climate change will impact food, water and supply chains. 

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