Do you know where your dinner was last night?
Trust the Greens : cut food miles - buy local
Our food is being transported over very long distances, only because some ingredients are a bit cheaper here or a certain processing industry works a bit cheaper there. Live animals are tortured on long distant transports because the meat industry wants to reduce costs. Concentration of the food industry increases the distance between farmers and consumers –much of the food quality gets lost along the way.
Food Follies – why earn needless 'food miles'?
- In 1998, the UK imported over 60,000 tonnes of poultry meat from the Netherlands. In the same year, it exported over 33,000 tonnes back to the Netherlands.
- In 1999, the EU imported 44,000 tonnes of meat from Argentina, 11,000 tonnes from Botswana, 40,000 tonnes from Poland and over 70,000 tonnes from Brazil. In the same year the EU exported 874,211 tonnes of meat to the rest of the world.
- In 2002 over half of the fish eaten in the EU came from outside the EU. Much of this was from the waters of developing countries in Africa or Asia, which can threaten the food security of local communities.
EU-regulations on food hygiene and safety reflect these increasing distances. Excessive transportation accounts for much of the additives and conservation agents in our food. Smaller processing industries go out of business because they cannot cover the increasing costs of hygiene and food safety measures. Fresh and typical local and regional products are disappearing from our markets.
The Greens support the consumption of local and regional food. We have achieved important exemptions from EU legislation for small food producers and specific fresh products. But local and regional marketing of quality food still needs more support from the EU. We are also working on new legislation favouring the short distance consumption of food.