New research suggests at least 18m livelihoods in developing countries are supported by airfreighted fresh produce

Around 18m people in developing countries benefit from fresh produce exported to European markets by airfreight, according to a new study from Fairmiles.

Africa papaya

The research, involving producers from 21 countries spanning Africa and Latin America, builds on a 2023 study conducted mainly in East Africa, which found that at least 5m Africans rely on airfreighted horticulture.

The full findings of the research will be presented during a roundtable meeting which will being held at the Press Club Brussels Europe on 30 April at 11:30 CET. The roundtable will discuss the question of whether it is fair to ban airfreighted fresh produce to achieve Net Zero emissions. It will be attended by representatives of fresh produce exporters, retailers, industry associations, logistics companies, NGOs and government.

For further details of the roundtable and to register to join online, please click here.

Fairmiles is made up a of organisations representing fresh produce businesses, academia and the international development sector. Its aim is to establish a just and equitable strategy, consistent with the principles of Climate Justice to ensure we achieve Net Zero without stopping vital market access for developing world producers.

Simon Derick, head of sustainability at the fruit manufacturer Blue Skies and a founding member of the Fairmiles consortium, said: “This latest research further underscores the important impact that air freighted fresh produce has in developing countries.

“With a strong turnout expected at our roundtable meeting, it also highlights how we have a crucial responsibility to ensure a proper, balanced debate on this issue to ensure we can achieve Net Zero without having unintended consequences on vulnerable communities”.