FDF scheme cuts food miles

A number of food and drink companies have signed up to a scheme to reduce food transport miles.

Haggis expert Macsween's of Edinburgh is just one of 40 operators to pledge to make fewer and friendlier food transport miles by signing up to the Food and Drink Federation's (FDF) Environmental Checklist and Clause for Greener Food Transport.

This is the latest step by the food and drink manufacturing industry towards making a real difference to the environment, as set out in FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition. The signatories have committed to using the 10-point checklist.

The FDF claimed the scheme embeds environmental standards right into the heart of companies' transport practices and includes contracts with third-party hauliers to achieve fewer and friendlier food miles. The organisation said that by achieving fewer food transport miles, companies would be making a real contribution to a food chain target to reduce environmental and social impacts of domestic food transport by 20% by 2012 compared to 2002.

Iain Ferguson, FDF president, said: "Transporting food and drink, like all other goods, has environmental and social impacts. Today, FDF members are making a significant commitment to reducing these impacts, and are once again showing leadership on an important environmental agenda. The companies who have signed up to the Checklist and Clause today are the first of what we hope will be many more signatories to this commitment to achieving fewer and friendlier food transport miles."

The scheme was welcomed by Lord Rooker, minister of state for sustainable food, farming and animal health, who said: "The food industry makes an important contribution to the success of the UK economy and it is good to see it also showing leadership in the delivery of a more sustainable future."

James Macsween, director of Macsween's of Edinburgh, said: "Macsween's has been at the forefront of haggis production for more than 50 years.

"As a family firm, it is firmly rooted in its community and understands the importance of continuity within a national and international context. Consequently, the management team takes its responsibility towards the environment extremely seriously and the company strives continually to improve its performance and go beyond minimum regulatory requirements. This approach, I believe, is a clear reflection of the company's ongoing commitment to innovation, product quality and business excellence."

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