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Food miles - comparative energy / emissions performance of New Zealand's agriculture industry

Saunders, Caroline M.
Barber, A.
Taylor, Gregory J.
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::1001 Agricultural Biotechnology
Food miles measures the distance food travels from producer to consumer. Food that has travelled long distances is perceived as being harmful to the environment and has some media attention in New Zealands's key markets, especially in Europe. However, this report argues that it is not the distance that should be assessed but the total energy used, production to plate including transport. The results of this analysis show that New Zealand products compare favourably with lower energy and emissions per tonne of product delivered to the UK compared to other UK sources. In the case of dairy New Zealand is at least twice as efficient; and for sheep meat four times as efficient.