The term "food miles" refers to the distance food travels from farm to plate. The term was coined by Sustain UK in a 1994 report (DEFRA in Xuereb, 2005). The more local the supply chain, the less miles travelled, hence a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Various food miles studies have been undertaken in recent years in an attempt to calculate the distances our food is travelling, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions associated with this transport. The studies aim to show the potential energy savings of a more locally-based diet.
Defra have carried out research 'Food Miles as an Indicator of Sustainable Development' to establish if a practical and reliable indicator based on food miles can be developed, and whether this would be a valid indicator of progress towards the various government’s objectives around sustainable food and reduction of CO2 emissions.
Developing local supply chains opens up opportunities for small Welsh producers.