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Does anyone know which fruits & veg from tropical countries come to Europe by boat, and which by plane?

(12 Posts)
Nighbynight Sun 03-May-09 21:36:57

Bananas, I am guessing, still come by boat.

Green beans, sugarsnap peas and flowers from sub-Saharan Africa airfreighted.

Papayas, passion fruits, star fruits?
Apples from New Zealand?
Grapes from India (airfreighted at a guess)?
Moroccan beans (lorry via Spain?)
Apples from China?

is there any eco website that tracks these things?

ramonaquimby Sun 03-May-09 21:46:43

most supermarkets will identify mode of transport for their fruit/veg on packaging

Nighbynight Sun 03-May-09 21:47:43

I am in Germany. I dont think they do here.

thisisyesterday Sun 03-May-09 21:52:33

i think it will vary from shop to shop iyswim?

some supermarkets may airfreight lots of stuff, others are committed to using boats.

it is down to who imports it, not the type of fruit it is

Nighbynight Sun 03-May-09 22:02:16

I was afraid it might be like that.

did you know that fujitsu computers are brought from china to europe by train? as far as I know, they are the only mfr to do that.

SazzlesA Sun 03-May-09 22:03:48

Message withdrawn

madlentileater Sun 03-May-09 22:23:27

I asked sainsbos about this and they told me ost of their produce comes by boat...not sure I belive then though.

Nighbynight Sun 03-May-09 22:27:09

Well, loads of the mangoes are still green when they get to the supermarkts, so can believe that they come by boat, and are picked green.
If the boat's refrigerated, loads of things could come by boat.

what about all those Cape grapes?

ABetaDad Sun 03-May-09 22:27:14

Bananas come by special shallow draft refrigerated 'Reefer' ships. They are transported in the perforated carboard boxes stacked on pallets you sometimes see in supermarkets and they are 'put to sleep' in a controlled and refrigerated atmosphere then a few days before docking the ship hold is pumped full of ethylene to ripen them.

Don't sweat too much about flowers coming by plane. I used to work for a company that flew gold bars plus orchids out of African airfields on freighter 747s. Don't ask - its heart of darkness stuff. The gold bars weigh a lot but take up little room and the orchids weigh a little but take up a lot of room. They still do the same today to optimise air freight space and weight.

The other fruit such as New Zealand apples comes in 40 foot shipping containers, by container ship. The containers are climate controlled to slow ripening.

I suspect, only fairly high value, short life fruit and veg is air freighted outside the UK season over long distances (e.g green beans from Africa).

Nighbynight Sun 03-May-09 22:33:07

Thanks, betadad.

Our local supermarkt sells Fairtrade roses from Kenya, which are the flowers I was wondering about.

ABetaDad Mon 04-May-09 09:08:35

Roses from Kenya are almost certainly air freighted.

An air freight configured 747-F has 140 tonne payload so probably would carry a cargo of roses stacked vertically in boxes on pallets in a climate controlled environment along with heavier freight that may well include gold and platinum picked up in South Africa on a short southern flight before flying the long return leg to the UK.

BarryPinches Thu 27-Aug-09 20:19:25

Tescos stareted using little blue stickers with aeroplanes on them to identify which produce was airfreight in 2008. They seem to have abandoned that though. Saving the planet was soooo 2008.

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