The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Climate stress testing the UK food supply chain using earth observation

This is an Embedded Researcher project; click here to find out more about the scheme and a summary of the projects.

This project aims to bring stakeholders in the UK food supply chain and the earth observation industry together to create climate stress-testing tools that can improve the UK’s food security.


The UK’s ‘just-in-time’ supply chain model leaves the UK vulnerable to changes in food availability caused by climate change. The UK imports around half of its food from overseas, with the considerable majority of this coming from relatively few countries. Therefore, changes in food availability in a few locations abroad will have a large effect on food availability here in the UK.

As climate change will affect agricultural productivity abroad and in the UK, the points of the supply chain with the greatest vulnerability must be identified to ensure UK food security is not jeopardised.


The project will partner Dr Douglas from King’s College London with Space4Climate to develop an earth observations approach to addressing supply chain risks.

Earth observation (EO) refers to the use of remote sensing technologies such as satellite sensors to study the Earth. EO data will provide high quality, consistent assessment across political boundaries and repeatable monitoring.

Nevertheless, despite considerable expertise in EO and a variety of available products and services, the EO industry in the UK is struggling to reach potential users within the UK food supply chain. This project will undertake knowledge brokering between potential users of EO data for understanding climate risk and the suppliers of these products and services.


  • To create functional specification(s) for climate stress testing tool(s) to meet the needs of stakeholders in the UK food supply chain, using earth observation data.
  • To help suppliers of EO products and services to better understand the needs of food supply chain stakeholders.
  • To raise awareness amongst stakeholders in the UK food supply chain of the information available via EO.
  • To bring stakeholders in the UK food supply chain and the EO industry together to improve the UK’s food security.

Read Dr Caitlin Douglas’s blog on the project on Space4Climate


Image: Unsplash