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Food shocks threaten to disrupt global trade

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Food shocks are happening more frequently around the world because of extreme weather and geopolitical crises.

These shocks, which are described as the sudden loss of food production, pose challenges for the United Nations’ sustainable development goals because they can disrupt food supplies and harm food security and human well-being.

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An international study led by the University of Tasmania in Australia looked at the impact of food production losses both on land and in the sea between 1961 and 2013.

We found that crops and livestock are slightly more shock-prone than fisheries and aquaculture,

said Richard Cottrell with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the university.

The research identified 226 food production shocks in 134 countries, while noting an increasing frequency of shocks across the globe.

The major cause was extreme weather events highlighting how vulnerable food sources are in a changing climate and the growing danger to food supplies in the future.

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