UK consumers want more locally produced food available on supermarket shelves and believe producers and retailers should give more information about the “food miles” on the products they sell, a report said today (1 August).

Over half – some 54% – of UK consumers feel that there is not enough local food available in stores, market analysts Mintel said.

Some 41% of consumers also want producers and retailers to give more details on the “food miles” of the products they sell.

There remains much debate over the validity of “food miles” as a concept to measure the carbon emissions of food production.

However, Mintel said its findings indicate that UK consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and use “food miles” as a way of gauging their carbon footprint.

“Frustration tends to run high when products that could be grown right here in the UK have been flown in from the other side of the world, taking their toll on the environment,” said Mintel retail analyst Neil Mason.