Thursday, 14 February 2008

LOCAL FOOD - NOT AIRFREIGHTED FRUIT AND VEG

KENTPRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday 14th February 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
LOCAL FOOD NOT AIR FREIGHTED FRUIT AND VEG
Food prices are rising rapidly, due to more extreme weather events associated with climate change, and because the price of oil has risen 19% in the last year. Since we are now roughly at the peak of oil production(1), and the effects of climate change are likely to worsen until effective policies are followed, it is very probable that air freighted foods will become considerably more expensive. The benefits of increasing local production for a County like Kent are obvious(2). Kent Green Party is supporting a phase out of air freighted fruit and vegetables. Steve Dawe explains:
“Clearly, stopping long-distance air freighting of foodstuffs is necessary as oil becomes ever more expensive. However, this is no simple matter: relationships of dependence have been created in countries much poorer than our own, including many in Africa(3). Since about 17% of UK carbon emissions are from growing, distributing and preparing food, we cannot simply ignore these emissions when cutting back on greenhouse gases. A kilo of Kent apples generates about 120g of carbon dioxide in its travel to a home in Kent. By comparison, a kilo of apples air freighted from New Zealand would generate about 300g(4). Buying organic and buying locally will help keep emissions down, even more so if you grow food in your own garden.
“Kent Green Party is calling upon supermarkets, which are claiming policies on climate change, to phase out air freighted foodstuffs and to do so in a manner which helps producers in poorer countries to adapt. Clearly, this means more Kent and UK produced food in our supermarkets.” ends
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above.
Notes:
See the website of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Caroline Lucas and Andy Jones – Fuelling a food crisis: the impact of peak oil on food security . At: www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk
SEE: Caroline Lucas MEP and Andy Jones – Local Food: benefits and opportunities at www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk
Govt stats on benefits and carbon costs of horticultural trade with Africa: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/reports/Final%20Africa%20trade.pdf See also Department of Transport – UK Air Freight Study Report and the Soil Association’s consultation on what it should do about organic produce being airfreighted into the UK.
SEE: East Anglia Food Link: Food and Climate Change

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