Bringing home the apples: examining the impacts, causes, and potential policy solutions to long-distance agricultural transport

Peter Toomey

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Over the past few decades, many governments have begun to recognize the environmental problems associated with agricultural production. They have responded by developing agricultural policies to combat these problems. The same attention, however, has not been paid to another ecologically detrimental component of the agricultural system - transport. This thesis explores the existence, environmental concerns, and potential policy solutions relating to the issue of agricultural transport distances — otherwise known as food miles.' Improving technology and increased international trade have led to substantial increases in food miles over the last few decades. As a result of these increases, agricultural transport now makes up a large fraction of the broader transport system. Consequently, it contributes mightily to the systems many detrimental environmental effects, such as habitat fragmentation, local air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. This thesis addresses the issue of food miles from a policy perspective, investigating the potential for agricultural policy to play a remedial role. To do so, it takes a case study approach, focusing first on the U.S. Apple Industry to discern the nature of food miles - including their existence, detrimental impacts, and causes. Then, after developing an understanding for the nature of food miles, the thesis focuses on how U.S. agricultural policy can be altered to reduce food miles. This is done by examining existing U.S. agricultural policies, particularly those relating to the environment. In concluding, this thesis makes recommendations for changing U.S. agricultural policy to address the issue of food miles. The recommendations are guided by the 'incremental model' ofpolicymaking and are derived from existing policies. While they are not radical suggestions they represent a practical way that policy can begin to recognize and address the issue of food miles.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jan. 2004
VejledereBente Kjærgård