There is a growing recognition that food is affected by climate change beyond production stages. Such climate change disturbances include but not limited to threats to global food distribution due to sea-level rise, impact on the nutritional quality of certain foods, and the incidence of food safety hazards throughout the food chain. However, there should be an emphasis on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation and adaptation strategies, due to the complexity of food systems. Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in food processing entails identifying sustainable, resilient, and efficient ways of producing, distributing, marketing, and consuming nutritious foods. Post-production activities do contribute to GHG emissions but the extent of GHG emissions varies by country.

Food processing entails converting foods in order to improve their storability and stability, nutrition and bioavailability, and their desirability to consumers. Many food processing industries are energy-intensive. Typically, pasteurization, sterilization, and refrigeration are critical aspects of post-production activities and they do contribute to GHG emissions. For instance, refrigeration is also an important component of the food transportation system. Hence, opportunities to reduce transportation emissions are driven by increased efficiencies or mode shifts (from road to rail). Thus, utilizing more efficient systems and increasing the use of sustainable and renewable energies are vital mitigation strategies for food processing. Furthermore, reducing the consumption of processed foods can also help minimize emissions associated with their processing, packaging, and transportation.

However, this should balance potential benefits, such as the potential to reduce food waste, contributions to nutrition, and the balancing of seasonal demand and supply. In addition, reductions in emissions from food processing will require concerted efforts from all value chain stakeholders and using a systems approach in redirecting investments and finance in GHG emissions.