Can the transport of food over vast distances be justified?

YES: Transporting food over vast distances fulfill important economic, environmental and political roles vital to humanity’s well-being, thereby justifying its continuation today.

  1. Transporting food over vast distances creates positive economic impacts as itsupports the employment of workers and generation of businesses across many economic sectors.

  2. Transporting food over vast distances provides greater diversity and choices in food for consumers worldwide, raising consumer satisfaction and welfare.

  3. The growing of some staple foods demanded worldwide may only be possible or environmentally sustainable in some countries, necessitating their transport across vast distances.

  4. Luxury foods are both economic products and cultural icons, with the transport and sale of them across vast distances serving to raise the profile of their countries of origin.

NO: Transporting food over vast distances carry significant economic, environmental and political disadvantages, making it less justifiable.

  1. Some producers of food at the start-point of the global value chain, such as poor farmers or fishermen, seldom get the full value of their goods from global markets, making the transport of food across vast distances a morally unjustifiable act that disempowers the economically vulnerable.

  2. Transporting food over vast distances to satisfy consumer demand places unsustainable impacts on the environment, making it ethically problematic.

  3. Some luxury foods are ethically controversial in their production processes and transporting them across vast distances aggravates the issue by increasing their pricing and perceived rarity value for the affluent.