Consumers concerned about food transport, says survey
supermarkets should provide more details about food miles on the
products they sell, according to a new survey released today.
Mintel, which conducted the survey found that two in five consumers want the information due to concerns about the environment. The new study highlights the pressure being put on processors and others to source ingredients locally. Mintel also found that one in five consumers, or 19 per cent, already try to avoid products with high food miles by looking at where the products were grown. "Food miles are now high on the consumer agenda," said Neil Mason, a senior retail analyst at Mintel. "People are becoming increasingly aware of just how far their food has had to travel. Many are also clearly frustrated by the fact that we are not making more of the produce that is grown on British soil." About 54 per cent of Britons also feel there is not enough locally produced food available in the store where they regularly shop, Mintel stated. About 53 per cent believe that retailers need to do more to develop and promote UK production to reduce global sourcing. Mintel predicts that more producers and retailers will adopt a carbon labelling scheme, which is a more accurate way than food miles to measure the environmental impact of the food transport. This scheme highlights the carbon footprint of the product and identifies those companies which are committed to environmentally-friendly policies. Mintel also found that 71 per cent of British adults try to recycle as much packaging waste as they can. About 66 per cent of those surveyed said they believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging they use, while six in ten say there should be less packaging on fresh fruit and vegetables. About 55 per cent say that retailers and producers should only use packaging materials that can easily be recycled.