Secure Food Supply Chain


UD’s Kyle Davis investigates how to make the global food supply more resilient

As the world grows increasingly globalized, one of the ways that countries have come to rely on one another is through a more intricate and interconnected food supply chain. Food produced in one country is often consumed in another country — with technological advances allowing food to be shipped between countries that are increasingly distant from one another.

This interconnectedness has its benefits. For instance, if the United States imports food from multiple countries and one of those countries abruptly stops exporting food to the United States, there are still other countries that can be relied on to supply food. But, as the coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic has made abundantly clear, it also leaves the food supply chain — all the steps involved in bringing food from farms to people’s tables across the world — exposed to potential shocks to the system.

A new study published in Nature Food led by the University of Delaware’s Kyle Davis looked at how to ensure that food supply chains are still able to function under these types of environmental shocks and highlighted key areas where future research should be focused. Co-authors on the study include Shauna Downs, assistant professor at Rutgers University’s School of Public Health, and Jessica A. Gephart, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science at American University.

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