The Ethical Debate…

The Ethical Debate…

Excess Food Miles…



How many miles does our food really travel?


APPLES – 76% of apples consumed in the UK come from overseas. Washington, home of the Red Delicious and grower of half of America’s apple, produces 135,000 tonnes of Fuji Apples per year. They also come from Japan and China and have a long shelf life. With refrigeration, Fuji apples can last for up to 5 or 6 months. Typical exporter; USA / Food miles: 3,700

BEEF – The worlds largest exporters of Beef are Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Canada. while British beef is clearly labelled in UK supermarkets, Argentinian beef is still a best seller here. Typical Exporter; Argentina / Food Miles; 6,900

TOMATOES – The British Tomato Growers Association says two thirds of the tomatoes eaten in the UK are imported. Typical Exporter; Saudi Arabia / Food Miles; 3,100

POTATOES – According to the British Potato Council (we have a potato council…?), the UK imports about 350,000 tonnes of tatties a year, including during the English growing season. Whats more depressing is that most of these imported varieties have been in storage for up to 6 months. Typical Exporter; Israel / Food Miles; 2,200

ASPARAGUS – Despite the delicious flavour of British Asparagus, UK consumers tuck into thousands of tonnes of Latin American asparagus, even during the British season. Peru is the worlds leading exporter, followed by China and Mexico. Main Exporter; Peru / Food Miles 6,300

CARROTS – In the UK, we get most of our carrots from South Africa. Typical Exporter; South Africa / Food Miles; 6,000

LAMB – There are 10 times as many sheep as people in New Zealand and more than half of the country’s lamb exports travel thousands of miles to the EU, where the UK is the number one customer. Main exporter; New Zealand / Food Miles; 11,700

STRAWBERRIES – what could be more British than strawberries on a summers day? Unfortunately, out of season berries from Spain or California have become the norm for consumers wanting a year round fix. Main Exporter; Spain / Food miles; 780