A conference of experts in the UK heard that importing food from the other side of the world can actually be more energy-efficient than buying British produce and helps developing countries tackle poverty, The Scotsman reports.
The event was organized by the Soil Association, which certifies organic products and is considering stripping air-freighted goods of organic status on environmental concerns.
Dr Alexander Kasterine, of the International Trade Centre, a United Nations agency, told the conference that the UK should cut its carbon emissions rather than ban imported organic produce.
He told delegates that many UK farms used more energy than those in Kenya and that about 85 percent of energy used in product distribution happens once goods are in the UK.
“Farmers get a diesel subsidy,” Kasterine said. “They get a direct-energy subsidy of 50p per litre. And yet the same farmers are telling Africans not to air-freight their products.; it is totally absurd.”