Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: A comparison of farm shop and mass distribution approaches

Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: A comparison of farm shop and mass distribution... This paper provides a critical commentary on the conception of food miles followed by an empirical application of food miles to two contrasting food distribution systems based on carbon emissions accounting within these systems. The comparison is between the carbon emissions resultant from operating a large-scale vegetable box system and those from a supply system where the customer travels to a local farm shop. The study is based on fuel and energy use data collected from one of the UK’s largest suppliers of organic produce. The findings suggest that if a customer drives a round-trip distance of more than 6.7 km in order to purchase their organic vegetables, their carbon emissions are likely to be greater than the emissions from the system of cold storage, packing, transport to a regional hub and final transport to customer’s doorstep used by large-scale vegetable box suppliers. Consequently some of the ideas behind localism in the food sector may need to be revisited. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Food Policy Elsevier

Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: A comparison of farm shop and mass distribution approaches

Food Policy, Volume 34 (2) – Apr 1, 2009

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0306-9192
eISSN
1873-5657
DOI
10.1016/j.foodpol.2008.11.001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper provides a critical commentary on the conception of food miles followed by an empirical application of food miles to two contrasting food distribution systems based on carbon emissions accounting within these systems. The comparison is between the carbon emissions resultant from operating a large-scale vegetable box system and those from a supply system where the customer travels to a local farm shop. The study is based on fuel and energy use data collected from one of the UK’s largest suppliers of organic produce. The findings suggest that if a customer drives a round-trip distance of more than 6.7 km in order to purchase their organic vegetables, their carbon emissions are likely to be greater than the emissions from the system of cold storage, packing, transport to a regional hub and final transport to customer’s doorstep used by large-scale vegetable box suppliers. Consequently some of the ideas behind localism in the food sector may need to be revisited.

Journal

Food PolicyElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 2009

References

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