Thursday, March 19, 2009


I don't suppose there is a person living, who is happy to see the environment polluted, damaged and destroyed, however in the real world humanity has evolved to live in a complex social and economic structure.

Justifiably residents of the Isle Of Thanet, have been concerned about the possibility of large industrial developments such as the China gateway proposal, which with its acres of lorry parking could potentially allow significant amounts of oil to run off and be absorbed into our underground drinking supply.

However sometimes you just think, that people raise objections just to pursue a cause to its extreme, and yourthanet's frontpage story this week, is I believe a case in point. Apparently Thanet Friends Of The Earth, believe it absurd that both Tesco's and Asda don't deliver cucumbers directly from Thanet Earth's greenhouses but rather sensibly choose to send the produce to what I assume are regional distribution centres in Maidstone and Dartford.

Unfortunately the articles does not make entirely clear, how Thanets Friends Of The Earth, would prefer their cucumbers to be delivered perhaps by horse and cart or a battery powered Citroen 2CV, directly to Westwood or maybe we should all just go (on foot) in person to Thanet Earth and barter a few home grown potatoes for a cucumber.

I'm sure if the Friends Of The Earth spokesperson had thought about the issue, they would realize that the supermarkets would probably share their concerns over produce are being transported more than is necessary, and I am sure that market forces will ensure that their methods are amongst the most efficient.

I see also that Bertie biggles is getting rather excited about a proposed golf course at the Two Chimneys caravan park, which if anything will probably benefit the local environment and perhaps safeguard a few acres.

By putting up extreme and ridiculous objections to environmental issues, the consequences for the likes of Thanet's Friends Of The Earth, is that they will not be taken seriously on matters like the China Gateway.


  1. Is there some sort of Thanet Earth shop where we can buy our produce direct? I somehow doubt it ( apologies if I'm wrong) but there should be!

  2. Tony, there's this wonderful invention called the telephone...
    Tesco, Asda and Thanet Earth could use said device to communicate with each other and then find out how many cucumbers they need.
    Then deliver them in one foul swoop rather than cart them across Kent.
    I think the dude from FOTE is right, it is absurd the way they operate at the moment.

    Peter, i wouldn't bother, i brought a TE cucumber and it tasted of water, little else.
    That's hydro growing for you...

  3. PS - I think it's great that the press highlight these little gremlins in the system, might make them sort it out!

  4. I can't help thinking that if Thanet Earth did run a shop then it would be prehibitivaly expensive with produce arriving via some stone age method and god know's what condition my runner beans from Kenya would be like.

    Realistically to accommodate the Friends of the Earth we will just have to stop procreating, because that is the only way us humans are going to stop polluting the earth.

  5. Captin Nantucket

    The suggestion that Tesco's or Asda add any avoidable mileage to produce is absurd.

    If you follow the enviro crazies then you will have thousands of white vans clogging the roads making a direct delivery.

    Assuming ever supermarket carries 2000 items then by the enviro-cretin method you would have 2000 odd journeys direct to each supermarket.

  6. Blimey, Tony.
    I'm not suggesting they make a trip every minute a cucumber is sold - more like one every few days, when stocks need replenishing, and they can beef it all up when the watery Toms and Pepps go on sale.

  7. try this one Captin, do you thing that Tescos would chose the most efficient and cheapest method to deliver goods to their shops, and maybe being efficient and cheap it might just be the most carbon efficient method.

  8. Captain let's say that Tesco carry 1,000 different suppliers whose products that need replenishing every week.

    Say between them all of the Tescos in the southeast use a lorry full of cucumbers in a week.

    You have two options either the lorry full of cucumbers starts from Thanet Earth delivering to the closest Tesco first then the next and so on, this would mean 1,000 different lorries visiting every Tesco every week.

    The alternative is to take the whole load of cucumbers to a central warehouse sort out the demands cucumbers potatoes etc of each individual Tesco, put it in a lorry and deliver it to them.

  9. Michaels option makes the most sense to me but then I am not a member of FOTE trying to get press coverage for another stupid idea nor am I an editor trying to fill a paper with stupid ideas

  10. Tony, I think 'neutral' rather than excited is the 'Strife' take on Two Chimneys' expansion plans. Land is a limited and precious resource in Thanet for future generations and yet in the past 10 years we have earmarked swathes of some of the most versatile soil for growing food in the UK to be taken out of use for one reason or another. Is 100 acres of holiday caravans and a 'play-ground' for those staying in them a greater priority than feeding my grandchildren in 50 years time? As I see Thanet being effectively fully developed in the next 50 years unless we think more carefully about what we are doing. 60 acres of golf course, lake and woodland might be a better option than another housing or industrial estate!

  11. Thanet has am ample surficiency of good farms shops selling locally produced veg, and at the right time of year at a very cheap price, but these will sell fruit and veg brought in from further afield (no pun intended), it is fact of life, people demand all sorts out of season, Cumcumber in March! many years ago I visited Kenya, and travelled around with the Kenyan Ag Ministry and visited many farms, one that always stood out was the one that supplyed veggies to UK supermarkets, what made me laugh the most was the packing department! this farm supplied, Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda and M&S, they where in the process of packaging carrots for M&S (so you think they have a better product!). the ladies had a bit of wood cramped to the table and they where using the wood to measure the carrots, I asked why? "oh all the supermarkets have a different size which is exceptable for baby carrots", "oh so they are sorting them?" "no" and these women where just cutting them to the stick length??? oh and the "Whoops" on Asda veg, was going on in the packing dept! I had always assumed it to be going on in the supermarket when they had over ordered! Stupid!
    so the long and short of it is, Thanet to Dartford and back again, or drive from Mount Kenya region to Nirobi, fly to London, drive to distribution centre, drive to Thanet?
    and on that note trying living in America, nothing but Brocoli, I've started growing my own!

  12. Heather, you're right about farm shops selling fresh food cheaply. The trouble is that many of those who could benefit most from such produce cannot afford to buy and run cars, and are unable to get to those shops easily.

  13. Waitrose get their Kent apple juice delivered direct from the farm to the shop in Ramsgate which shows that with a bit of organisation it can be done by a better class of supermarket.

  14. If you are really interested in food distribution efficiency.

  15. Food travels further these days partly because the centralised systems of supermarkets have taken
    over from local and regional markets. It defies common sense, but a pint of milk or a crop of
    potatoes can be transported many miles to be packaged at a central depot and then sent many
    miles back to be sold near where they were produced in the first place.

  16. the super market will order suffieceint to supply the need of all in its area and it then fill the thanet lorry with all items including the cucumbers can no none see this is cuttingout an extra trip when what seems logical is not at all it is actually another vehicle making congestion worse

  17. Bertie I thought excitable made you look more interesting I was trying to big up your profile!

    Heather nice contribution and your mum would have been proud to hear her "ample sufficiency" phrase in use. Oh HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I shall skype you later!

    Anyway I remain un-repentant Tesco's and Asda know what there doing so if I've offended Thanet's Envirocretins tough tities!

  18. in answer to Hugin, I agree, it is hard for people on low income to get to farm shops although there are 2 within walkable distance from Westwood Cross, although I suspect 1 will suffer due to the rerouting of the road, but that is easy for me to say I had a car and I would not like to walk to either of them, let alone with say, young children, as they are either down a narrow road which cars speed down or an extremley busy road, nether has a pavement to it.
    one thing I have used in the US are farmers markets which are set up in car parks of shopping centre's such as, oh let me think! Westwood Cross? they are pants compared to the UK as there are only ever a couple of farmers represented, but the prices are cheap and the produce good, and the advantage if done, at say Westwood Cross would be that it is extremely easy to get to by bus, which I found out on a resent visit to the planet,the buses are brillant.
    Tony thanks for noticing the ampel suficiency it was deliberate I always thought this was a great saying of hers, although my favourate was picnicking which she always said instead of nit picking!