Risk and vulnerability in national food supply

Omslag risiko MattilsynetThe Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) has evaluated risk and vulnerability related to food production, food supply and emergency preparedness in Norway. The final report recommends such measures as the construction of grain storage facilities, a stronger plan for distribution, and soil conservation.

Is the food supply in Norway sufficiently robust, and what factors contribute to risk and vulnerability in the various stages of the production and supply chain?

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries (NFD) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (LMD) have asked DSB to create a risk and vulnerability analysis dealing with the most important foundations for national food safety: production, trade system and logistics. Proactima AS has assisted DSB in this work.

“The report describes the value chain for the Norwegian food supply, and the primary channels of goods through that chain. The analysis examines what can cause breakdowns and disruptions in these channels,” explains Proactima’s Project Manager, Torgrim Huseby.

Unwanted incidents

Three analytic seminars have been undertaken with the appropriate expertise in order to identify relevant development trends and analyse unwanted incidents. Through the seminars, six unwanted incidents have been chosen which are representative of various stresses to the food supply:

  1. Electronic communications failure
  2. Electricity supply failure
  3. Animal and plant diseases
  4. Nuclear incidents
  5. Grain shortages
  6. International military conflict

“The scenarios were chosen based on their ability to disrupt or take out of commission important parts of the value chain, from production/import to distribution to retail outlets and consumers,” Torgrim explains.

Proposed actions

Some of the measures proposed in the report include:

  • Considering measures to secure the distribution of food all the way to consumers during crises.
  • Clarifying what the regulations and laws say about the need for emergency power supply for certain actors within the food supply, including suppliers of critical services to the actors.
  • Managing risk related to the access to grain and raw feed materials; the Norwegian Agriculture Agency has responsibility for the administration of import protections. The Agency should also be tasked with monitoring the risk of international shortages.
  • Plans for the construction of grain storage facilities: The authorities should detail the measures necessary to re-establish the storage of grain given a changed assessment of need.
  • A restrictive soil conservation practice: For the purposes of emergency preparedness, approval for the reallocation of cultivated land and arable land should be granted conservatively in areas that are favourable for agricultural production.
  • Evaluate the emergency preparedness arrangement for food: Due to changed plan foundations, NFD should evaluate the storage facilities arrangement for emergency provisions as well as plans for the construction of storage facilities.

Proactima has supported DSB in the development of the value chain model and analytic methods. In addition, Proactima has led the process of holding analytic seminars with various groups of experts.


Torgrim Huseby - 45 51 43 84