Tuesday 29th Sep 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Concern over food miles doubles

The number of UK consumers concerned about food miles has nearly doubled in the last five years, according to the latest research from the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD).
One in six Britons (16 per cent) now say the distance food travels is one of their top five concerns about food production, up from nine per cent in 2003, according to Shopper Trends – Five Years On, IGD’s latest research into consumer behaviour.
‘The food miles debate has helped to reignite our interest in where food comes from and how it is produced, but food miles don’t tell the whole story about the environmental impact of food and drink products,’ says Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD.
‘On average, transportation accounts for only 13 per cent of carbon emissions in the food chain,’ she says.
‘Because of the complexity, IGD is helping the British Standards Institute, the Carbon Trust, Defra and the food industry to prepare a common methodology for measuring carbon emissions and leading sustainable distribution initiatives to reduce the environmental, economic and social impacts of food distribution.
‘The challenge for the industry is to measure total greenhouse emissions, including embedded carbon, accurately, and factor in other environmental and social impacts such as the amount of energy and water used or animal welfare.’
Denney-Finch says being transparent and telling a compelling and credible story about how and where products are produced can help address consumer concerns about climate change.
‘Demonstrating provenance is becoming hugely important to discerning UK shoppers. Expect to see this story-telling happening in increasingly innovative ways throughout 2008,’ she concludes.

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