UK study unwraps the "food miles" debate

Food transport produces significant social and environmental impacts, which cannot simply be reduced by sourcing locally, according to a study issued by Britain's environment ministry. It puts the external costs of transporting food for UK consumption at UK£9bn (€13bn), of which UK£5bn is due to road congestion, UK£2bn to road accidents and UK£1bn to pollution. The findings will feed into a future food industry sustainability strategy (EED 06/04/05). The government wants the sector to commit to a 20% reduction in its external costs by about 2012. See press release and industry reaction.

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