One in six Britons (16 per cent) now say the distance food travels is one of their top-five concerns about food production - up from nine per cent in 2003 - according to Shopper Trends - 5 Years On, IGD's latest report on consumer behaviour.
IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch warned that, although the food miles debate has helped reignite consumers' interest in where food comes from and how it is produced, it does not tell the whole story about the environmental impact of food and drink products. "On average, transportation accounts for only 13 per cent of carbon emissions in the food chain," she explained.
"Because of the complexity, IGD is helping the British Standards Institute, the Carbon Trust, Defra and the food industry to prepare a common methodology for measuring carbon emissions and leading sustainable distribution initiatives to reduce the environmental, economic and social impacts of food distribution.
"The challenge for the industry is to measure total greenhouse emissions accurately, including embedded carbon, and factor in other environmental and social impacts such as the amount of energy and water used or animal welfare."