Christmas dinners that cost the Earth
(19.12.2007 Soil Association)
Academics from the University of Manchester have worked out that tasty Christmas
dinners in the UK will cost the carbon equivalent of 6,000 car journeys around
the world. The Soil Association have announced a crack down on the casual flying
of out of season produce from the developing world.
The Manchester research said that about half of the carbon footprint related
to transport of a standard Christmas dinner came from the cranberry sauce, imported
from the USA.
But a Worcester company is urging people to think about where their food comes
from so that it does not have to be flown halfway around the world before arriving
in the UK. Now Riverford Organic Vegetables has suggested people in Worcester
think long and hard before buying fruit and veg imported to the UK by air.
They said, “What the Soil Association calls casual, we believe is often frivolous.
There is absolutely no need to fly produce in from all over the world, when we
can grow such a huge variety of veg and fruit in the UK.
“If fresh produce has to be imported, it should come by ship and from closer
to home. The Soil Association says that air freighting produces over 177 times
the greenhouse gases of shipping; that is just not an option for anyone who cares
about the future of the planet.”
The pair, who deliver in Worcester and Evesham, said: “Riverford is unusual in
that we have never airfreighted any of the produce we put in our veg boxes – or
any of the other produce we sell.
“The supermarkets and other retailers will never change their policies on air
freighting until the consumers force the issue so I would urge people to speak