Investigation into the potential food safety, economic, and environmental impacts of climate change
Project Reference: 07-2015
Commencement Date: February, 2016
Project Duration: 10 months
This is a technical report of research into the potential food safety, economic and environmental impacts of climate change on the dairy production chain on the island of Ireland. The project involved a review of the literature and a series of semi-structured interviews with a range of experts in the dairy sector.
The research identified a number of food safety risks involving pathogens, chemical contaminants, residues and natural toxins. The level of awareness regarding climate change among the various stakeholders in the dairy supply chain was high and the general consensus was that collective action is required to address the issue. The major threats identified by stakeholders centred around extreme weather events and the knock-on effects on feed, diseases, pests and consumer concerns.
The negative impact of climate change on dairy production in other regions could present an opportunity for the dairy industry on the island of Ireland given the carbon-efficient system of milk production already in place here.
The expertise of the research team were further harnessed to map the dairy supply chain on the island of Ireland in order to provide a comprehensive description of all stakeholders involved in the production, processing and marketing of dairy products. The report contributed to a wider project that involves a food chain vulnerability analysis of the dairy supply chain in order to enhance consumer protection. This was led by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in conjunction with safefood, the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Dr Thia Hennessy, Teagasc at Ashtown
Dr Katrina Campbell, QUB
Dr Maeve Henchion, Rural Economy Development Programme at Teagasc
Dr Trevor Donnellan, Rural Economy Development Programme at Teagasc