More on food miles

I mentioned earlier this year the need to be rational about "food miles" – that is, the pressure to buy locally produced food.

Interesting to see this article in the Metro today:

Too much attention is being paid to how vegetables and flowers imported by air from Africa cause greenhouse gas emissions, said Bill Vorley, of the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Cutting this trade could have an overall negative impact on African development, he explained. …

'Air freight of fresh fruit and vegetables from Africa accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of total British carbon emissions.

'Climate change is going to affect the poor in Africa harder than anyone else. These are the people who have done least to cause the problem. They should not be made to pay the cost of fixing it too.

1 thought on “More on food miles”

  1. Aren’t most of the profits on fruit and veg’s and flowers made at point-of-sale and at the middlemen-wholesalers and at the international transportation company?
    Why would we believe that our wealth should be used to purchase poor farmers products to make them rich?
    This is still a thought from colonialism, that we are better, that we should solve it for them.

    The argument that poor people must sell to foreign rich customers is sick! There’s starving people in south-east Asia and Africa and they export more and more food and luxury items to Europe and North-America.

    There is plenty of existing local customers from upper- and middle-classes in Asia and Africa so that food production could be consumed locally, as close to the farms as possible.

    Our farming policies have made our farmers earning subsidies for cutting down production. Our subsidies have caused over-production that have been flooding african markets with low-priced produce such as sugar and milk. Causing farmers in poor countries to go bankrupt.

    Thankfully EU are changing its farming policies, but the harm is already done. Lot of knowledge in growing some crops could be forgotten or lost.

    What have we in EU gained from being able to buy fresh banana every day of the year? Before they existed in our shops we ate other things, and didn’t complain of the lack of bananas. What crops could be farmed on the land where the multinational companies grow our billion bananas per year?

    Our luxury consumption could easily be reduced 10% and make huge improvements in local supply of cheap food products on local asian, african, south-american markets. It could prevent that steep inflation on food.
    What would the poor eat if they are forced to export 100% of all their crops?

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