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Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - FO0108

Description
More than 90% of the UK’s food imports arrive by sea and therefore the security of supply through UK ports is vital in terms of feeding the nation’s population. This includes sustaining UK food and drink processors and manufacturers that rely on the import of bulk commodities and food ingredients, as well as supplying the grocery retail and catering sectors with a wide range of agricultural and processed food products. This is in addition to the import of feed and other materials required for support of the UK’s agriculture and horticulture sectors. There are critical supplies that the nation relies upon, some of which originate from a single source, while others are channeled through single UK ports. These critical commodities, across the whole range of imports, will be confirmed through reference to trade and port statistics, importers, trade organisations, the Department for Transport and previous research and studies carried out for DEFRA.
A differentiation has to be made between the majority of food supplies that are imported through a range of shipping services and ports and those particular commodity flows that have become concentrated on a single port, or a small number of ports. Of equal importance for the security of continued UK food supply are the ports that handle significantly large volumes of traffic, across a range of food commodities. Dover and the Channel Tunnel, for road trailer traffic and Southampton and Felixstowe for container traffic require particular focus. Once identified, it will be important to understand the full supply chains for commodities and flows; the flexibility of the transport and shipping routes and modes used, the port infrastructures and capacities and the inland storage, transport and distribution processes. The impact of port disruption on critical flows and key entry points will be assessed in detail by means of a Consultation and Case Study approach, during which the likely causes, extent, speed and duration of transmission of ports disruption into interruption to food imports will be fully assessed, across the container, RoRo and bulk modes. Another bi-product of a Consultation and Case Study approach will be a determination of the specific and general features of the domestic and international transport infrastructure and food supply chains that are likely to ameliorate / exacerbate the impact of UK port disruption on the supply of food imports into the UK (i.e. flexibility in ports and between ports) and the extent to which UK food import security is contingent upon the resilience of overseas port infrastructure.

Objective
4. OBJECTIVES

Objective 1: Confirm objectives, scope and preferred approach (i.e. selection of work packages) in consultation with Defra staff

Objective 2: Complete the evaluation of the resilience of the food supply chain to port disruption as follows:

2A. Identify the likely causes (for example, natural hazard or malice), extent, speed and duration of transmission of ports disruption into interruption to food imports arriving in the UK as containerised, ro-ro and bulk traffic

2B. Determine the extent to which particular features of domestic and international transport infrastructure and food supply chains are likely to ameliorate/exacerbate the impact of UK port disruption on the supply of food imports into the UK

2C. Determine the extent to which UK food (import) security is contingent upon the resilience of overseas port infrastructure (both within and without EU waters, and now and in the future).

2E. Explore the behaviour, over the short to medium run (up to six months), of individual port operators, shipping companies and land-based logistics and food supply chain agents in the event of port disruption.

Objective 3: Deliver a practical, robust, evidence-based Final Report and present the findings at a DEFRA workshop or seminar

Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : FO0108 Main Report   (3960k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 01 Import data final   (744k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 02 Food supply chains final   (365k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 03 Dover final   (947k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 04 Felixstowe final   (560k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 05 Thames final   (752k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 06 Humber final   (552k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 07 Meat and fish imports final   (569k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 08 Citrus imports final   (740k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 09 Sugar imports final   (579k)
• ANX - Annex : Resilience of the food supply to port disruption - Annex 10 Palm oil imports final   (514k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £77,943
Contractor / Funded Organisations
P R B Associates Limited, Global 78 Limited
Keywords
Food Security              
Resource efficient and resilient food chain              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain