Multilevel Governance for Climate Change Adaptation in Food Supply Chains

  • Ari PaloviitaEmail author
  • Marja Järvelä


The vulnerability of food supply chains to climate change is higher compared to other industries due to its dependency on climatic conditions, temperature and water supply. As a robust response to the vulnerability of food supply chains, it is essential to find ways of linking the concepts of sustainable development, climate change adaptation and risk governance into one paradigm. The risk governance of food supply chains is conducted by and across both private and public spheres. Hence, in this chapter, we introduce a dual system of governance to match the objectives of climate change adaptation, and discuss the multiplicity and potential integration of both corporate-led private governance and public governance based on the authority of governments and their institutions. The aim of this chapter is to highlight climate change adaptation in relation to the practices of risk governance of the food supply chains within a multilevel framework of private and public policies. It explores the outlook of climate change adaptation in food supply chains, probing the extent to which governance should be framed as an intergovernmental issue, a national/local issue, an upstream supply chain issue or a downstream supply chain issue. The study is carried out by delving into the international adaptation literature with focus on different levels of framing the food supply chain and its adaptation to climate. We conclude that it is important to marry the efficiency of food businesses with the attainment of wider societal objectives such as sustainable development, climate change adaptation and food security, in order to increase resilience of the overall food system.


Multilevel governance Climate change adaptation Food supply chain Vulnerability Sustainable development Resilience 



We would like to thank the Kone Foundation for financing our research project: “Future Food Security in Finland—Identifying and Analyzing Vulnerability Aspects in the Finnish Food System”.

Supplementary material

Video 23.1

Multi-level governance framework for climate change adaptation (WMV 67218 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences and PhilosophyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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