Every day the news reminds us of how very real climate change is, and how devastating its impact can be. Changes in weather and groundwater are already affecting the food industry, with more changes sure to come. Time to reflect on what the food supply of the future will look like.

Climate change is happening as we speak

Climate change is far from being theoretical: we are feeling the effects of it right now. Changing weather and climate conditions are having a huge impact on growing conditions in areas where fruit, vegetables and nuts are farmed. Places that could count on a consistent yield for certain crops in the past are now faced with a whole new reality.

California is a striking example of these shifting conditions. There is more drought in the Golden State than ever, and it has become more difficult to access sufficient water in agricultural areas. Farmers are forced to choose which fields to irrigate and which to leave fallow. Sometimes they remove orchards so that more water can go to other fields and orchards. Not to mention the devastating fires that have raged through California and Australia over the past years.

What this means for the food industry

This climate impact has had a huge effect on the amount of food that can be produced and its quality. Whereas in the past there was plenty of water and no worries about accessing it, now you have to go looking deeper and deeper for hydration. The groundwater level has also continued to drop over the years.

The deeper you go, the more you capture deep groundwater. This water contains minerals and salts that are different from the surface our fields are used to. Fields react differently to it, affecting the quality of the food that is produced. This is creating new challenges for food producers, and makes us re-evaluate the quality of nuts and other foods.

Thinking ahead: quality control

Throughout these changes, quality control providers like Qcify have continued to provide their services. Right now it’s a matter of staying tuned into developments, but we can certainly expect an impact on quality. There are already measurable effects on certain crops that you can see during quality control processes. For example, products like grapes that have been heavily impacted by forest fires.

Other matters are more wait-and-see. For example, we still need to get an exact idea of how the minerals and salts in the groundwater will impact the final quality of different products. It’s a huge concern, because we have a growing world population that needs an adequate food supply. We really need to start looking at the mid to long term. People have a tendency to live in the moment and only act when they are faced with concrete problems. But we can already ask ourselves the following:
  • Which crops and commodities will we be able to grow, or not be able to grow, in certain regions?
  • What adjustments do we need to make now in certain regions to prepare us for the future?

Qcify is working to prepare the food industry for a changing world. Reach out to us and let’s see how we can work together to deliver a quality food supply into the future.

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