The Cost of transportation is increasing worldwide and it has a sharp impact on the price in the stores. It is more visible than ever: the damages caused and those estimated to be caused if we do not make a change, are remarkably unfavorable for the future of our planet.
And what choices should we make as individuals to help the cause?
Let's take a look at several aspects in this blog post!
It's not news, but it's a fact: food costs increased lately for several reasons as the alarming climate changes, the economic damage caused by COVID, a disruption in the supply chain and a lot more.
Is there a way to reduce the impact of transportation? Let's see.
Based on a recent study made by INSEE where prices were compared 10 years ago, the conclusion was that "in the case of fruits and vegetables prices have increased by 50%".
Let's have a look at the impact of the cost of transportation in this increase.
First, in order to optimize production and processing costs the cultivation has been centralized more and more but that also means that the production is being done further away from the consumption centers
North America: > 90% of production is made in California / Arizona, so there are lots of trucking from one part of the country, to the other.
Europe: South of Spain is the main producer and it feeds the rest of Europe.
Trucks is still the most used way of transportation, according to Fepex.es 94.1% of fruit and vegetables exported by Spain are transported by truck. This has several impacts on the freshness of the food, the carbon footprint and obviously the cost.
All these reasons also contribute to another big problem: pollution. "Total transport activity is expected to more than double by 2050 compared to 2015",
says the fact sheet of United Nations Org.
But we'll leave that for another post because it's a theme that deserves its own space! Don't you think?
This trend of increased transportation is likely to keep on continue as there are several root causes:
Cost of Fuel: the time of cheap oil is long gone and while we can expect a decrease of the price we pay at the gas station it will not be cheap again
Demographics: Fox13News had a point when they wrote that "Trucker shortage worries industry experts about future of transport". They're getting older and they're not getting replace by younger generations who don't have an interest in these jobs.
This second point leads to an imbalance of offer and demand where there is much less offer than demand. This leads to massive increases in salaries that can go up to 40% as related by this BBC News article "HGV driver says 40% pay rise shows industry's desperate situation".
How can we solve this problems? We have some suggestions to debate: let's try to find ways to lower the cost of transporting that food, by spreading the word about new technologies, supporting local markets or simply spreading the word about good practices. For example:
TRUCK AUTOMATION: 90% of long-haul trucking may soon be self-driving, says Fortune. But...is this the right solution? What do you think? We don't think so.
CHOOSE LOCAL: Buy products that come from your region, or as close as possible. In addition to making sure there was not a big transportation cost for that food, you will be helping someone in your community and eating a super fresh product!
Indoor Growing Techniques: otherwise known as CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture), the plants, mainly leafy greens and vegetables are grown in greenhouses often using technology in order to expand the local growing seasons and increase yields. As the crop is protected you can grow anything almost anywhere which drastically cuts the cost of transportation time and cost.
MAKE YOUR OWN GARDEN: There is nothing like eating fresh produce and the pride of knowing that it came from your backyard. We experience it every day we try freshly cut produce from the Greenhouse for lunch, under the walnut tree of the Agropole of Switzerland, when we are located.
What decisions do you make in your daily life to be part of this change, for a greener world?
Let us know in the comments!
Stay tuned to our next Blog Post and once again, thanks for reading us.
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