The number of UK consumers concerned about food miles has nearly doubled in the past five years.

According to research by grocery organisation IGD, one in six Britons – 16 per cent – now cites the distance food travels as a major concern when it comes to food production. The figure was just 9 per cent in 2003.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “The food miles debate has helped to reignite our interest in where food comes from and how it is produced, but food miles don’t tell the whole story about the environmental impact of food and drink products.”

She said that companies must be transparent about how and where products are produced to address customer concerns. “Demonstrating provenance is becoming hugely important to discerning UK shoppers. Expect this story-telling happening in increasingly innovative ways through 2008.”