Food miles

By | 2007-02-14

Tokenistic policy and consumer responses to concerns about ‘food miles’ could undermine the social and economic development of African countries.

Consumers in the UK think they should be cutting back on imports of fresh prodcue flown in from Africa, in order to save the planet from climate change. But does this make sense? Research shows that stopping all such air-freighted imports would reduce UK emissions of greenhouse gases by less than 0.1%, while imposing major costs on farmers in Africa. It’s estimated that the UK provides a market worth £1 million a day to African producers, generating livelihoods for more than a million people.

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