Natural catastrophe review

14.05.2018

On January 4, 2018 a press release of the Münchner Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft reported:

“Natural catastrophe review: Series of hurricanes makes 2017 year of highest insured losses ever”
Losses from natural catastrophes 2017 US$ 330 bn

Why is Naturkost Übelhör concerned about this report of highest insured losses ever?

Naturkost Übelhör frequently imports organic raw materials from climatically high-risk regions.

In South and Central America our partners are often faced with the El Niño phenomenon which occurs every 4 to 6 years.

The El Niño phenomenon describes a current inversion in the Pacific Ocean which causes heavy rains and storms on the west coast of South and Central America and even extends far into the mainland.

This climate change – far away from Germany – also influences the weather situation in Africa and Asia. It has become a phenomenon that does not only appear at a certain period of time. During the last four years the current in the Pacific Ocean has not inversed so that there was no recovery phase for the local farmers.

Besides El Niño the occurence of hurricans/typhonns/heavy storms and large temperature fluctuations during the course of the year have increased significantly. Our local partners perceive the strong impact of the fragile dependency of the crop on the climate every day.

In Latin America the harvest season is about to start, but heavy rains and storms have destroyed the hard work of the past months. This means the local farmers are constrained to sell the lower harvest volume at higher prices in order to ensure their livelihood.

In Africa the seeds are sown, but before sprouting they are washed away by the heavy rains.

In the Peruvian Andes harvesters cannot be used due to the wet soil. Furthermore the grain can be ejected from the capsule by heavy storms which leads to lower harvest yields.

The climate change causes high expenses not only to the insurance companies. A conscious and sustainable acting towards our environment is important to all of us and further awareness should be raised regarding the costs related to the production of high quality food products.