As a food geographer in Australia, I study the global and local patterns of food production and consumption. By mapping the connection between food production, supply chains, consumption habits and retail, my research interest is to find the interconnection between agricultural businesses and food retailers such as supermarkets, farmers markets, independent retailers to restaurants, eateries or cafes and their roles in changing demands for food.
The global food supply chain is increasingly interlinked. While the advantage of having access to produce throughout the year by importing food outside of our growing seasons in Australia empowers consumers with choices, it highlights the vulnerability of our food system.
Australia is a net exporter of food. However, we are increasingly importing food from countries that are producing products at a lower cost. Being an Australian food geographer in Sydney, I have observed more imported processed food such as tomatoes, tuna, canned vegetables to spreads creeping into supermarket shelves. By increasing the amount of food imports, does Australia face food security risks?
These are pressing questions we need to ask today.