An independent survey for Saga by the British Market Research Bureau shows that buyers of fruit and vegetables are largely unaware of the environmental impact of buying imported foods, and that the majority of shoppers (61%) are unconcerned about which country their fruit and vegetables come from.

The over-50s seem to be more environmentally savvy than their younger counterparts, with a greater understanding of seasonality and propensity to “buy British”.

Only 29% of 25-34s are aware of the concept of food miles compared with 42% of over-50s.

Only 32% of 25-34s regularly or always buy food grown in Britain, compared with 54% among the over-50s.

A quarter of shoppers do not know if their fruit and vegetables are grown in Britain.

While the supermarkets have extended their ranges of organic produce and reduced food packaging, 58% of shoppers blame the supermarkets for a lack of British-grown food in the shops.

75% of shoppers say they would buy more British-grown food if it was available, and 35% would be prepared to pay more for it.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Green, head of communications at Saga, said: “Today’s over- 50s are savvy consumers; they know what good food looks like and tastes like.

They know that British local produced food not only tastes better but is also good for the environment – not because of any nostalgic or romantic notions, but because they are wiser and more experienced.”