Supply chains must mitigate the threat of invasive species

Climate change and international trade are combining to put the very existence of life on Earth at risk. That is not a crazy unfounded risk assessment by a dogmatic green activist, but the considered opinion of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

With international trade identified as one of the key factors in the spread of invasive species, organisms that, when taken from their natural habitat and moved to an area where they have few or no natural predators, can wreak havoc on local flora and agriculture. Industry and government representatives, in the form of a focus group, have now been tasked by the CPM (Commission on Phytosanitary Measures) to find a formal solution to the problem of invasive species within global supply chains, and the group will make its first report to the wider IPPC (The International Plant Protection Convention) next spring, when the next annual meeting is due to take place in Rome.

Over and above finding a formal solution to the problem, heightening awareness of the spread of unwanted pests in and on containers is seen as a measure to reduce the risks. For example, if a container is loaded at night under lights, these attract pests and can lead to unwanted organisms entering the container.

Source: The Loadstar, Nick Savvidis

image source: USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

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