More Britons than ever before will be tucking into a more environmentally friendly turkey lunch this Christmas, according to research from the Environmental Transport Association.

In a recent survey of motorists, ETA found that 98% of respondents said that they were more concerned now about food miles and their effect on the environment than they were five years ago.

Nonetheless, an estimated 90% of the fruit consumed in the UK is imported, along with nearly half of the vegetables we eat.

“We are calling on consumers to question how far their food has travelled before it reaches the plate,” said ETA director Andrew Davis. “There is a definite trend among the environmentally aware to eat seasonal foods that are grown and purchased locally.”

And though the survey probably represented a more than averagely green sample of the population, this sentiment is translating into booming business for farm shops and farmers’ markets.

Rita Exner of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association said: “Many farm shops see more customers at Christmas then at any other time of year, as people make an effort to buy everything as fresh as possible.”

In the spirit of research, Farmers Weekly decided to go shopping. We have totted up the estimated food miles of a typical Christmas shop alongside the cost at different shops.

Although farm shops need not be more expensive, Mrs Exner added, the quality was often higher than that found in the multiples. “Most know that the turkey you buy in a farm shop will have been traditionally reared and not handled in a factory, so it produces a different eating experience.”

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Asda,
London
Morrisons,
London
Independent shops,
Devizes Wilts 
 

Thorpe Farm shop,
Barnard Castle

 

  Price/kg Miles Price/kg Miles   Price/kg Miles

Price/kg

Miles

Turkey

£3.28

155

£3.28 

150

£7.10 

14

£5.06

11

Bacon joint

£3.24

400

£3.12

269

£10.98

6

£5.00

11

Spuds

£0.37

295

£0.38

226

£0.44

5

£0.28

88

Carrots

£0.52

165

£0.55

161

£1.30

5

£0.63

111

Sprouts

£1.02

270

£0.99

219

£0.86

5

£1.05

32

Parsnips

£1.44

180

£0.99

132

£1.30

5

£1.61

32

Xmas pud

£3.83

n/a

£5.69

167

£8.70

104

£8.99

30

Brandy butter

£7.90

200

£7.95

325

£9.33

19

£9.16

138

Wine

£2.92

409

£5.49

137

£7.25

6

£5.99

42

Grand total

£24.52

1665 

£28.44

1649 

£47.26

163

£37.77

453