The Impact of Transporting Food

We all know that climate change is being caused by carbon emissions and across the world there have been huge efforts to reduce them and try to prevent its effects. But there is one area that most people forget contributes to 26% of all carbon emissions in the world. Food Transport. That’s right, for you to have all your favourite snacks in supermarkets, you are contributing to 26% of the world’s carbon emissions.

Take Cadbury’s Dairy Milk for example. We’ll follow the lifecycle of one batch chocolate bars and see how much it affects our environment.

First cocoa needs to be harvested from Ghana in West Africa. Once the cocoa beans have been harvested, fermented, dried and graded, they are transported to processing factories in North Wales. That’s already about 87 kilograms of carbon dioxide produced. This is the same amount of carbon dioxide that 9 people produce on average over the course of their whole lives.

After the beans have been prepared into a liquid called ‘mass’ or ‘cocoa liquor’, they are transferred to Hereford. The average amount of carbon dioxide produced by a lorry travelling that distance is about 92 kilograms. This is the same amount of carbon dioxide that 10 people produce on average over the course of their whole lives.

The chocolate is then moulded and transported to your local supermarket. This would cause the average lorry to produce around 100 kilograms of carbon dioxide. This is the same amount of carbon dioxide that 11 people produce on average over the course of their whole lives.

So overall, we can see that in order to make a single batch of chocolate bars, the amount of carbon dioxide produced is the equivalent of what 30 people produce over the course of their life. There are about 1 million Cadbury’s chocolate bars being produced daily. That’s the equivalent of 30,000 people’s carbon emissions.

This doesn’t include the journey you would have to take to the supermarket and back again, or what happens to any waste. We are causing our planet to waste away because we are so used to everything that is made over the world to be available for us 247. If we cut down on our food miles we could also cut down the drastic effects it’s having on our home.

So next time you visit the supermarket and see the huge selection of food there, take a second to think what it costs us and our planet for it to get there.