Knowledge for better food systems

From Plough to Plate by Plane

Airfreight imports of fresh produce into the United Kingdom are increasing. At the same time, there is more widespread recognition of the negative environmental impact of aviation, and consequently a greater awareness of the damaging effects of long distance airfreight fresh produce supply chains.
Airfreight imports of fresh produce into the United Kingdom are increasing. At the same time, there is more widespread recognition of the negative environmental impact of aviation, and consequently a greater awareness of the damaging effects of long distance airfreight fresh produce supply chains. This study takes a detailed look at airfreight imports of fresh fruit and vegetables into the United Kingdom from outside the European Union in the period 1996 to 2004. Through quantitative research, it seeks to identify trends in the industry both for specific products and for general classes of products, in order to highlight the sectors of the industry that are causing the greatest environmental impact. Furthermore, this study uses qualitative research in seeking to identify the drivers behind the trends, by developing a deeper understanding of the decision processes that lead to products being stocked for retail. The research finds that there are significant variations in the industry, according to type of product, country of origin and mode of transport used. While the transport of some traditionally airfreighted products is increasingly being shifted to surface modes of transport, some alarming trends show that the use of airfreight for fresh produce is becoming more widespread, even when there is no technical reason for it. The research finds that the drivers are a mix of changing consumer tastes combined with the aims of retailers, suppliers and growers to derive maximum value from their businesses, through demand management, marketing and product innovation.
 

Add comment

Member input

Plain text

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.