Local food production and climate change - threat or opportunity?

The evidence posted on the Internet shows that local food production and short food supply chains are alive and well around Europe.

The production of most local foods is dictated by the local climate. It means that the range of local products currently available in, for instance, Scotland is naturally more limited than that currently on offer in Tuscany.

But, with climaScottish local produce of the future?te change seemingly an inevitablity, how is this going to change?

Not only is climate change likely to affect (in many cases: extend) the seasonality of existing local food types, it is also likely to strongly affect the type of food that can be produced locally, particularly in the case of crops.

The effect of climate change on local crop production will be enhanced by the continuing development of new, more resilient and adaptable crop varieties which increasingly allow production in regions previously deemed unsuitable.

Although there are plenty of projections on the effect of climate change on factors affecting food production such as temperature, drought, length of the season and level of pests and disease, there seems to have been little consideration by researchers of the impact of climate change on the type of food produced in different regions.

Are local supply chains resilient enough to adapt to new opportunities? Are some of the current local favourites under threat? 

Some interesting, related links:

Tea plantation in Cornwall, England:

http://englishtea.org.uk/tregothnan_english_tea.html

Olive grove in Devon, England:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/britains-first-olive-grove-is-a-sign-of-our-hotter-times-405557.html

Vineyard in Fife, Scotland:

http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2011/07/10/could-wine-be-the-new-whisky-as-scotland-feels-the-heat/

Sunflower crops in Orkney, Scotland:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/3196447/Sunflowers-bloom-on-Orkney.html

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