Local Food – Miles Better Meeting

“Local Food – Miles Better!” Says Climate Change group

The IW Action on Climate Change group is to hold an open evening to look at local and regional food and its impact on the local environment. Some ninety five per cent of fruit is imported into the UK along with around fifty per cent of vegetables*. On a positive side there is a growing demand for local food with farmers’ and producers’ markets springing up all over the country.

Food miles increased by 15 per cent in the ten years to 2002, leading to a 12 per cent increase in carbon emissions from food transport. The cost of food miles to the UK, including time lost from congestion, road wear and tear, ill health from pollution and noise, and road crashes, is £9 billion a year. The average distance we drive to shop for food each year in the UK is 898 miles, compared with 747 in 1992.*

Speakers will look at issues such as ‘food miles’ and the local economy as well as addressing issues such as pollution and climate change. The date for the event is Thursday 27th September 2007 at 7pm at Newport’s Riverside Centre. The main speaker will be Mr Paul Heathcote of Afton Park Nursery, renowned for their Apple Days and Chinashop Rare Breeds.

The meeting will also welcome Christopher Wakeley as the new organiser of the Action on Climate Change group. The meeting will be chaired by Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust, who is sponsoring the meeting, as part of their commitment to reducing the ‘ecological footprint’ of the Island.

Speaking for the Footprint Trust, Ray said,

“This educational initiative is seeking to inform the public and businesses about the challenges of climate change. It aims to give a positive message as to what can be done in our daily actions to reduce our impact on the planet. We support the NFU campaign for local food.”

“We were delighted at the recent commitment from the IW Council announcing that it is committing itself to cutting carbon by 4% per annum and that it is working with Carbon Trust to achieve this saving. We hope to be working with Council in looking for ways to help the public and businesses also achieve similar reductions.”

For more information about the group please visit




* Source: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2005