A golden future for Golden Delicious?

As someone who has been committed to the notion that food flown in to the UK is generally a bad thing, this article gives me something to ponder. If ‘researchers’ are to be believed:

  • 99.75% of exports from New Zealand (beef, lamb, apples, milk, butter etc.) are shipped rather than flown (shipping is more efficient than road freight, let alone aviation);
  • Kiwi dairy producers are twice as energy efficient as their British counterparts; and,
  • cutting out air-freighted, African-farm produce would reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by 0.1%. (If, that is, African farming and living standards don’t become so mechanised and technologised as on Anglo-Saxon farms; which is something that’s likely if not already happening in the African tea industry, putting thousands of tea pluckers out of work.)

I still ask, though: what’s the overall carbon footprint of, for example, a Golden Delicious from NZ compared to a British-grown Cox (when not flown to S.Africa for polishing and bagging)?

All of which goes to show that:

  • taking the full life-cycle into account has been, and always will be, necessary, even if ‘fiendishly complex‘; and,
  • providing info to consumers – e.g. via labelling – on matters ethical will provide stable employment for a good while yet.

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