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What Are Food Miles?

Food miles are the distance the individual produce has had to travel from where they are grown, until it is consumed. In other words the distance travelled from field to fork. This measurement is often used when trying to calculate the environmental impact of food products. It is worth noting that food miles are not the only factor to consider when ascertaining how sustainable a product is. There can be other factors at play which also contribute to the overall carbon footprint.

The concept of food miles originated in the United Kingdom in the 1990's. Prior to this time, consumers may have been more inclined to shop locally and seasonally. When we look at seasonal eating, we mean buying produce that has been locally grown, and you can only get it within certain months of the year. As transport has expanded and trade deals confirmed, the accessibility to produce all year round has become more convenient. But at what cost? It has been noted that transportation of food accounts for nearly 20% of the total food-system emissions. When ordering with Farmison & Co, our deliveries to you are carbon neutral through our courier DPD. You can review their Carbon Neutral Certification for yourself.

How Can You Find the Product’s Food Miles?

Finding a product's food miles is not always straightforward. Unless you buy directly from the producer, or the retailer is willing to share the information with you, you may not know how far the product has had to travel. At Farmison, we believe transparency is key, which is why our farming the future campaign will show you the information you may want to know about each cut of meat. From the food miles it's undertaken, to the characteristics of the meat. We have nothing to hide when it comes to supplying high quality produce to our customers.

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Does the Mode of Transport Affect the Food Miles?

Yes, the mode of transport can affect the number of food miles. For example, transporting produce via air freight would create considerably more carbon emissions than if transported by road or sea shipping.

Because we use British farms, the meat doesn't have to travel huge distances from overseas racking up food miles. We are lucky in the UK to have some of the world's best farmers on our doorsteps, who are committed to growing and rearing the best quality produce we can eat. The farming methods that are used have been passed down from generation to generation, resulting in simply better meat.

How Can I Help to Reduce My Food Miles in the UK?

There are two ways you can help reduce your food miles in the UK:

  • Shopping local
  • Shopping seasonal

Shopping locally means exploring your nearest farmers markets and independent stores which may work with local suppliers to bring you fresh products. To go one step further, you may want to consider if you can purchase your products without the need for your own transportation to the shops. Can you walk there? Or maybe you can get carbon neutral deliveries, like those that Farmison offers for every customer order. This means you can receive your British, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, or meat box directly to your door without the emission impact.

Shopping seasonally is, as the name suggests, buying produce which matches the current season we are in. Whether that be Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, there is a wide range of fresh products to be explored which are full of delicious flavours. If you're not quite sure what may be in season throughout the year, you can refer to our helpful food in season chart for inspiration.

How Farmison Are Supporting Local British Farmers

Supporting British farmers is in the ethos of Farmison. With some of the best farmers located on our doorsteps in the heart of the Yorkshire dales, why would we consider supplying our customers with anything else? What's more, having this close relationship with our suppliers can help to increase the transparency throughout our supply chain. It is for this reason we have become industry leaders in meat traceability and food provenance. We have achieved this by committing to high quality meat in every product we sell.

Newly rolled out for 2023 is our QR codes located on our packaging. These codes can be scanned with your smartphone to reveal more information about each cut of meat. The information includes the farm's location, the heritage breed, food miles, tasting notes, and a video showcasing the farm and the farmers who run it. It is just one way we are committed to encouraging the nation to Eat Better Meat. Be sure to try it for yourself when you order your seasonal weekly essentials or roast dinner meat with Farmison & Co.