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Conference Papers Year : 2008

Consumers and food miles

Consommateurs et kilomètres alimentaires


Previous research has extensively studied environmental implications of conventional and globalized food supply chain. Local food supply chains are supposed to reduce the environmental impacts of “food miles”, the distance that foodstuff travels between the production location and the consumption marketplace. However, if researchers, environmental decision-makers and activists are convinced of the importance of ‘food miles’, there is a lack of understanding about whether and how end consumers perceive food miles. This paper therefore fills this gap by investigating the perceptions of food miles by French consumers. The first section explores thedifferent types of distances between food and consumers. The second section presents the results of a qualitative study conducted in France. Two sessions of focus groups were held to better understand consumers’ perceptions of food miles. Results show that most consumers are not aware of food miles. Focus groups were followed by individual interviews with the particular group of local organic food consumers, supposed to be more environmentally concerned than others. Again, results show that most consumers buy and consume local food for other reasons than reducing food miles. The third section deals with the reasons why consumers do not seem concerned by food miles, and discusses the concepts of “bliss ignorance”, perceived efficiency, and social dilemmas.
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Dates and versions

hal-02757400 , version 1 (04-06-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02757400 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 28415


Lucie Sirieix, Gilles Grolleau, Burkhard Schaer. Consumers and food miles. 6. AIEA2, International Association of Food and Agro-Industrial Economy. Knowledge, sustainability and bioresources in the further development of the agri-food system, Jul 2007, Londrina, Brazil. ⟨hal-02757400⟩
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