Where does your Christmas Dinner come from?

18 December 2018 - Published by Hein Braaksma
Have you thought about where the products for your Christmas dinner come from? Many of the products which you can find in the supermarkets have travelled thousands of kilometers before ending up on your plate.

Christmas is a time for traditions, including a traditional Christmas dinner. Many of the Christmas related food products that are available in the supermarkets are imported from distant countries, creating carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. In addition, the quality of the bulk products is often compromised as transportation over long distances from farmers, to slaughterhouses and again to processers and distributers is time-consuming. For each step that is added in the food value chain there is a chance of reducing the quality.

Whether you prefer vegetables, roast duck, pork, turkey or something else you can both reduce the carbon footprint and get high quality products by choosing to buy locally produced products. The locally produced products from small and medium sized producers can skip several steps in the food value chain and have not travelled over great distances. As the journey from field to fork is shorter and thereby less time-consuming the products are more fresh when they reach your plate. By supporting the local food producers you do not only get more fresh products and reduce the carbon footprint, but you also support a positive development in your local community by creatinglocal employment.

Supporting and creating better conditions for food related SMEs in rural areas is exactly what the partners in the development project called “REFRAME” have set out to do. The project, which is supported by the North Sea Interregional program, promotes greater diversity in the supply of food, promotes innovation and sustainability, creates local employment and thereby strengthens the local communities. This is done by developing and/or re-establishing local infrastructures of food production, food processing, food consumption and profiling of rural communities. The project partners from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden all take steps towards a more regional food frame. REFRAME has for instance stimulated a large supermarket chain in Sweden to include more products from regional SMEs in their product assortment and in the Netherlands, a municipality has adjusted its procurement strategy in such a way that it enables more food related local SMEs to participate.