Comparative Merits of Consuming Vegetables Produced Locally and Overseas

Project Status: Completed
Type of Project: Research Project
Principal Investigator: Dr Paul Cross (Email)
(former Principal Investigator Prof Gareth Edwards-Jones), University of Wales, Bangor)

Publications, Data and Other Outputs
Policy and Practice Note

Impact of research on policy and practice



The project will consider the advantages and disadvantages of consuming locally produced fruit and vegetables as opposed to fruit and vegetables produced overseas. It will seek to achieve this by considering a range of relevant factors: greenhouse emissions, local employment, consumer perception of relevant attributes, nutritional quality of produce and community characteristics relating to local food cultures. Environmental work will consider total contribution of greenhouse gases from production and transport of vegetables from farms in UK, Spain and Uganda. This will be measured both with standard flux boxes and a novel remote sensing technique. Life Cycle Analysis will be used to collate all relevant information from this work. Nutritional quality of fresh produce will be compared with those stored in chilled and modified atmospheres. Consumer perceptions of fruit and vegetables and the relative importance of attributes such as health benefits and place of origin will be assessed by Discrete Choice Modelling. Community and social issues will be explored in case study areas, with particular attention being paid to the sociological importance of local food cultures. A case study of the Isle of Anglesey will seek to bring all these data together in a Geographical Information System in order to assess the overall impacts of switching from existing land uses to a landscape aimed at maximising vegetable production.