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    Buy Local Food and Fight Climate Change
08/06/06

On the day a delegation of business leaders, including Tesco executives, meet the Prime Minister to discuss climate change issues, Scotland’s farming union has reminded the major supermarkets that they can play their part by backing local food.

oilseed rape

With increasing concern over ‘food miles’ and the environmental damaged caused by importing food into the UK from around the world, NFU Scotland believes that by supporting home-grown food and drink, instead of foreign imports, the major supermarkets can cut carbon dioxide emissions dramatically.

NFUS Vice President Jim McLaren said:

“Tesco’s commitment to doing its part for the environment is welcome. However, the major supermarkets must remember that they can play a huge role in cutting unnecessary, but highly damaging, emissions by buying local. A combination of high quality local food and increasing consumer demand for home grown produce presents a real opportunity for supermarkets to lead the fight against climate change.

“We will always have to import certain foods, however it makes no sense to import beef from halfway round the world and burn fossil fuel in the process when we produce quality beef to the highest standards on supermarkets’ doorsteps.

“We know from speaking to suppliers that they are facing massive financial pressure as a result of the supermarkets’ willingness to source cheap imports. The implications of that in terms of lost jobs, reduced domestic food production and increased environmental damage are clear.

“Not only do we have concerns over the environmental standards of production abroad, particularly in countries like Brazil, but the importation of food that we can produce in this country unnecessarily pumps million of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“We are becoming a nation overly-reliant on imported food. That carries a massive environmental cost which is easily alleviated if both government and supermarkets have the will to do so.”

  • Food miles are the measurement of the distance food travels between farm gate and plate.
  • The tonnage of food travelling by air has increased by 140% since 1992.
  • For the UK, the value of food imports over exports has doubled in seven years, reaching £12.3 billion in 2004.
(Source: Farmers Weekly. NFUS is backing Farmers Weekly’ food miles campaign).

link Farmers play key role in climate change solutions

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