Resilience of food companies to calamities - perceptions in the Netherlands

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


Calamities such as extreme droughts and trade or infrastructure breakdowns potentially hamper the continuity of individual food companies, as well as the continuity of food supply in Europe at large. There is a lack of insight into food companies’ resilience in case of cumulative calamities or calamities that did not happen before in recent history. In this context, an expert elicitation study among feed and food companies in the Netherlands was undertaken. Results show that lengthy or structural unavailability of electricity and a lengthy crisis of road transport are perceived as the most threatening calamities.Outcomes also show a relatively limited implementation of BCM (business continuity management) at company level. Complete BCM programs for top-3 calamities perceived to threaten the continuity of food supply in Europe are reported by 0% to 30% of the companies. For calamities perceived to be important for business continuity this is between 20% and 40%. In the field of risk management a leading role is attributed to the public sector for improving international governance and setting up a so-called masterplan with measures such as larger raw-materials stocks and broad sourcing. Findings suggest that further actions are needed, starting with prioritised calamities and the design of a masterplan. Yet, stakeholders are also urged to pro-actively “think the unthinkable”
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCulemborg
PublisherPlatform Agriculture, Innovation & Society / Wageningen UR
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • food industry
  • risk management
  • food supply
  • food security
  • disasters

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