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Food: Climate Change

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps in consultation with farmers and supermarkets to undertake research into the effects of climate change on the preservation of foodstuffs grown in an extended growing season. (308885)

The Government have not funded research to look specifically at the impacts of climate change on storage of food products. However, we have funded research to improve storage of products to extend storage time, maintain quality in storage and therefore reduce losses. This has been achieved through improvements in storage technology and crop management.

We have also commissioned research to develop storage technologies that are more sustainable. The knowledge and improved technologies delivered provide greater resilience to climate change because they provide options for adaptation. A non-exhaustive list of relevant research projects is shown in the following table.

Further information on these projects is available from the DEFRA website at:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Location=None &Module=FilterSearchNewLook&Completed=Q

Code

Title

Start

End

Cost (£)

FO0308

Development of diffuse browning disorder in relation to physiological and biochemical changes in apple fruit during development and storage

April 2007

March 2009

201,094

LK09105

A novel strategy for reducing wastage in potato storage by improved control of tuber dormancy.

October 2007

March 2008

42,468

LK0985

Defining and managing risks to safety and quality during food and feed grain storage

July 2006

July 2011

648,020

LK0967

Biopesticides for the control of storage insect pests

April 2005

September 2009

393,114

AR0603

Interaction of biology and behaviour of storage insects with environmental conditions in bulk grain

April 2002

March 2006

655,327

AR0604

Safe storage of grain by preventing and controlling the development of mite pests

April 2002

March 2006

614,325

HH2602SFV

Molecular and biochemical characters of post harvest quality in brassicas

January 2002

December 2005

539,903

LK0929

Improving the detection and monitoring of storage beetle pests by development of a multi-species lure

October 2002

September 2005

221,329

HH2603STF

The potential for manipulating the orchard microflora to control storage rot fungi

April 2001

March 2005

208,399

HH2604STF

Storage rots in plums and cherries

September 2001

August 2004

154,852

HH2606STF

Identify the mechanisms of a naturally-occurring, heritable trait for reduced ethylene production in apple fruits

April 2001

March 2004

494,252

LK0919

Control of potato storage diseases by laser treatment

October 2001

September 2004

116,015

HH2118STF

Integrated control of new storage rot problems in apples and pears.

April 1998

March 2001

153,781

HH2120TTF

Expanding the potential of the UK stone fruit industry by the use of modern storage technology

April 1998

March 2001

246,847

HH2114STF

Investigation into improving storage of horticultural produce by control of ethylene metabolism.

October 1997

September 2000

306,013