Increasing resilience to water-related risks in the UK fresh fruit and vegetable system

We are exploring ways of increasing resilience to water-related risks for both UK-grown and imported fruit and veg – one of five projects in a wider £9 million investment.

At a glance

Dates – October 2016 start (three years).
Sponsor – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Partners – Cranfield University, University of East Anglia, NIAB EMR (formerly East Malling Research), University of Oxford.

Fresh fruit and vegetable (FF&V) supply chains are exposed to risks at multiple points from field to fork, but perceptions of risks and how to manage them differ between actors depending on where they are located in the system.

This project seeks to identify hotspots of water-related risk in the UK’s FF&V system by combining trade, production and hydrological data, and to integrate this information with stakeholder perspectives to develop system maps and shared visions of how to move the system in a more resilient direction.

Case studies are being undertaken in South Africa and the UK to enable insights into the motivations and concerns of farmers, suppliers, retailers and consumers, and to help identify where resilience and efficiency might be at odds. Participatory workshops and game-playing will provide opportunities for stakeholders to engage across sectoral boundaries, develop their understanding of the system overall and co-produce strategies for enhancing resilience democratically

Related blog posts:

The Cape water crisis and UK food security        When water gives you lemons