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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Green MSP Highlights Christmas Food Miles Scandal

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Ingredients for a typical Christmas dinner may have travelled 30,000 miles from producers and growers to the UK dinner table, damaging the environment and undermining local economies, Highlands and Islands Green MSP Eleanor Scott warned this week.

Unveiling the stark statistic, Dr Scott said:

“Our European turkeys, African vegetables, Australian wine and American cranberry sauce will have notched up enough ‘food miles’ between them to circumnavigate the globe.  This international trade in locally available produce is damaging the environment by contributing significantly to the aviation industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Ingredients for a traditional Christmas Dinner are in season in the UK right now — that’s why they’re traditionally eaten at Christmas! Shopping for local produce in local stores will ensure consumers extend some goodwill and that their cash stays in the community rather than going to supermarket fat cats.

“African farmers are paying a high social and environmental price for switching traditional production to inappropriate cash crops geared for western markets, but seeing few of the financial benefits.

“By eating locally grown produce we can enjoy fresher, tastier food, support our local economies, and cut out some of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the aviation industry as it flies all these vegetables around the world.”