Extreme weather “should be a wake up call” for grocery industry

26 jul 2021

Erik Wallin

In the past week, parts of Europe and China have seen devastating floods, the UK Met Office has issued its first ever extreme heat warning and 276 new fires have started in California.

"Our impact on the planet is accelerating. The need for change is more apparent than ever," comments Erik Wallin, Co-founder of Northfork. "The recent spate of extreme weather should be a wake up call for individuals, businesses and governments around the world."

Grocery retail and climate change

The Ratio Institute observed recently that the grocery industry, "has not had a wholesale reckoning of its climate change impact, let alone an industry-wide conversation about strategic climate change mitigation." Why not?

British naturalist and national treasure David Attenborough has called climate change, “the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced,” with food security and access to clean water high on the list of likely impacts in coming years. It's time for the grocery retail sector to tackle this head on.

Calling all pioneers

The sector is making some changes. However, many of these are consumer-driven, rather than retailer-led. The changes are in response to increasing public awareness around issues such as climate change and food waste.

"There's a clear space for the biggest global grocery retailers to show that more can be done and that more must be done," continues Northfork's Erik Wallin. "There's an opportunity for real pioneers to lead by example."

Tech has a role to play in helping the industry up its game. Northfork's technology can support retailers to maximise their sales of locally produced and organic products, while minimising waste.

Everything to gain

Customers and retailers alike will reap the benefits of less extreme weather. Greater food security and less disruption to supply chains are achievable. We just need to work together - fast.