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Future Of Food Bowl Adapting To Changing Climate

Ensuring Timaru District remains an important food bowl for national and international markets through a changing climate is the aim of a public meeting next week.

The meeting, Commercial Food Resilience in a warming climate, is part of the Action on Climate Change series of events hosted by TDC as part of the development of its climate strategy.

It is being held at 6pm on Wednesday 5 July at the Ara Timaru Campus, TG block.

Timaru District Council Climate Change Advisor Rhys Taylor said that climate change is set to be one of the major challenges producers face in continuing to grow the $4 billion a year of food and fibre products coming from this region.

“While producers will be facing challenges at home, those with an export focus will also face increasing demands from our export markets, seeking products with lower embodied greenhouse-gas emissions.

“We’ve got a range of speakers covering the whole chain from production to consumption and will then explore the complexities and options for resilience in commercial-scale food production and distribution.

“In fast-changing circumstances, no-one yet has the answers, so together we’ll need to both challenge and support each other to find them.

Speakers on the night are:

Nigel Davenport, Venture Timaru, discussing ‘Sustainable is Attainable’, a major initiative by South Canterbury food producers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and establish a resilient regional food processing base as a springboard for processing future foods.

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Melissa Clark-Reynolds, The Future Centre, exploring global food trends ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Rhys Taylor, TDC’s Climate Advisor, sharing May 2023 customer impressions of retailing and public service actions in the UK: evidence of fast-building public awareness and changing consumer demands, with consequences for NZ exporters.

• South Canterbury’s Anita Wreford, now Professor at Lincoln University Agricultural Economics Research Unit, discussing ‘The Deep South Science Challenge’ and how climate change would affect land use and food production. Anita will be accompanied by Alan Wreford on scoping potential new food production systems.

Climate Strategy Facilitator Dr Phil Driver will also introduce the proposal to launch the South Canterbury Climate Trust, which will act as an advisor on climate matters to business, community, local and regional government.

The event is free but ticketed (with limited space), these are available at

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