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Is local best?

11 February 2010

Does local food have a lower carbon footprint than non-local food? Measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from food supply chains suggests that this may not always be true, according to a guest speaker at Cardiff University.

In a public lecture hosted by the School of City and Regional Planning, Professor Gareth Edwards-Jones, a member of the UK’s Food Policy Council and Chair of Agriculture and Land Use at Bangor University will explore the ethical benefits of local food.

Drawing upon his own research, Professor Edwards-Jones will argue that claims that local food is universally superior to non-local food in terms of its impact on the climate or the health of consumers are not always supported by evidence. On the contrary, it can be demonstrated that local food can on occasions be inferior to non-local food.

In addition, Professor Edwards-Jones will address how the concept of local food has gained traction in the media, engaged consumers and offered farmers a new marketing tool, as well as examining the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of moving the UK towards self-sufficiency.

Professor Kevin Morgan, School of City and Regional Planning will chair the lecture: "Gareth Edwards-Jones has earned an international reputation for path-breaking research on sustainable food systems and it is therefore a real honour to welcome him to Cardiff University, where we will have a public debate around his results," said Professor Morgan.

The lecture - Is eating local food better for you and the planet than eating non-local food? - takes place on Tuesday 16 February 2010 at 6.30pm in Committee Rooms 1&2 of the Glamorgan Building. It is one of a number of events planned as part of the School’s Innovation and Engagement programme. To reserve a place please contact Evelyn Osborne at


Notes to editors

1. Media are invited to attend the lecture and should contact the public relations office for further information or to arrange an interview.

2. Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning is the largest and most active planning school in the UK and has an outstanding record of academic achievement. Its teaching has been rated as ‘excellent’ and the latest government assessment of research in British universities has reinforced its status as the premier academic School of its type in Britain.
The School plays a leading international role in its fields of expertise and its research has an agenda-setting influence in key debates on the development, management and sustainability of cities and regions.
The School’s research is structured around five large research groups and is leading developments in environment; housing; spatial analysis; spatial planning and city environments; and urban and regional governance.

3. For further information:
Evelyn Osborne,
School of City and Regional Planning
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 874882

Victoria Dando
Public Relations Office
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 879074