13 Dec 2009

'Food miles' emissions not a problem, says Oxfam

6:22 am on 13 December 2009

Oxfam says New Zealand need not be overly concerned about the impact of emissions created by exporting food products abroad.

A guidebook unveiled at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen suggests consumers can do more to reduce their carbon footprint by walking or cycling to the supermarket, rather than worrying about the distance food is transported.

Food miles, the report says, contribute only about 10% of carbon emissions in Britain and America - the rest comes from production, processing, distribution and storage.

The executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, Barry Coates, says that bulk transportation methods do not contribute greatly to emission levels, and that the "food miles" approach discriminates against developing countries which rely on food exports to strengthen their economies.