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How business models can (climate) change


Following on from my last post on what is a business model, here I recount two articles I had saved from last year on how climate change can force businesses to change – and in some cases even change the business model.

The first article comes from Time (Sep 04, 2011). It recounts how Spanish winemaker Torres are increasingly moving their crops to higher, cooler areas of Spain.  Due to global warming, the hotter climate means sweeter fruit and earlier ripening. At the same time, the early ripening of the fruit is offset by the fact that the seeds and skin (which give flavour) are not ripe. Thus, as a possible solution, vines are being planted at a higher, cooler altitude in an effort to offset the warming experienced in traditional regions.

The second related article  comes from The Economist (Sep 10, 2011, online). In this articles, you can read how English wine is being produced in increased volumes and better quality – with locally grown grapes.  Again, it is climate change – bringing warmer climes to Southern England – meaning that more traditional grape varieties can be grown in England as opposed to the typically acidic German varieties. The result has been a product of increasing quality, and a tendency to produce higher margin sparkling wines – something that was not so easily done before. Thus, the business model of English vineyards may have changed from one where imported “grape juice” was added to make local wine, to one where high quality, high-margin product is the norm.

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About martinjquinn

I am an accounting academic, accountant and author based near Dublin, Ireland.

One response to “How business models can (climate) change”

  1. Jon Flatley says :

    Climate change will begin affecting (if not already) other areas of agriculture as well. Zones of where flora and fauna prefer will shift pole-ward with time.

    So – the nuanced affects (preferred growing regions for grapes/wine production) are the first to be noticed but it will definitely not stop there.

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