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Distance isn’t dead : An empirical evaluation of food miles-based preference changes

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Author Info

  • Ballingall, John

    (New Zealand Institute of Economic Research)

  • Winchester, Niven

    (University of Otago)

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    Abstract

    Food miles measure the distance food travels to reach consumers’ plates. Although substituting local food for imported produce will not necessarily reduce greenhousegas (GHG) emissions, the food miles movementis an intuitively appealing idea toconsumers and supported by import-competing producers. We investigate the economic implications of food miles-induced preference changes in Europe using a global, economy-wide model. We observe large welfare losses for New Zealand and several Sub-Saharan African nations.This suggests that food miles campaigns will increase global inequality without necessarily improving environmental outcomes. We then consider the implications of our results for New Zealand businesses and government agencies. We conclude that there is an ongoing requirement for careful monitoring of offshore consumer trends and that New Zealand firms need to demonstrate their sustainability credentials to avoid suffering negative demand shocks.

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    File URL: http://nzier.org.nz/sites/nzier.org.nz/files/WP2009-01%20Distance%20isnt%20dead.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research in its series NZIER Working Paper with number 2009/1.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 17 Feb 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:nzierw:2009_001

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    Web page: http://www.nzier.org.nz/
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    Related research

    Keywords: food miles; non-tariff borders; trade protection;

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    References

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    1. Francois, Joseph & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2008. "Economic Implications of Deeper Asian Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 6976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Els Wynen & David Vanzetti, 2009. "No Through Road: The Limitations of Food Miles," Working Papers id:1942, eSocialSciences.
    3. Pretty, J.N. & Ball, A.S. & Lang, T. & Morison, J.I.L., 2005. "Farm costs and food miles: An assessment of the full cost of the UK weekly food basket," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-19, February.
    4. Francois Joseph F & Wignaraja Ganeshan, 2008. "Economic Implications of Asian Integration," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-48, September.
    5. Niven Winchester, 2006. "Liberating middle earth: How will changes in the global trading system affect New Zealand?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 45-79.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kemp, Katherine & Insch, Andrea & Holdsworth, David K. & Knight, John G., 2010. "Food miles: Do UK consumers actually care?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 504-513, December.

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