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'Too Early' to Discuss Carbon Footprint - UK Farmers

by 5m Editor
4 September 2007, at 11:04am

NEW ZEALAND - Efforts by New Zealand meat and wool industry officials to engage British farmers in the food miles and "carbon footprints" debate appear to have failed.

"We are not wanting to open up the food miles debate prematurely," said Thomas Binns, chairman of the livestock board of Britain's National Farmers' Union.

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"The whole issue of food miles and carbon is a big issue for us all. There is a big issue about the complexity of understanding that,"

Thomas Binns, chairman of the livestock board of Britain's National Farmers' Union.

"In the short-term I don't think it's an area that we need to be too concerned with," he told journalists in Wellington yesterday.

Asked for an assurance that the NFU would not use a simplistic approach to food miles to attack NZ exporters, he said that the UK's major farm lobby would wait and see the results of research on how greenhouse gas emissions in food production and transport should be calculated.

"The whole issue of food miles and carbon is a big issue for us all. There is a big issue about the complexity of understanding that," he said.

Fonterra's butter exports to Britain have been attacked with a "knocking" campaign by a British dairy company which highlighted the distance the butter had to be shipped.

Former British cabinet minister Stephen Byers claimed that 1kg of kiwifruit flown from New Zealand to Europe caused greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 5kg of carbon dioxide, and National Consumer Council chairman Lord Whitty criticised the Waitrose supermarkets for stocking organic strawberries which had been flown from New Zealand.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

5m Editor