Did you know that the ingredients of traditional Christmas dinners have travelled up to 90,149 miles before reaching supermarket shelves?
Nautilus, a trade union which supports and protects the interests of over 22,000 maritime professionals, has thanked seafarers for their contribution, as families all around the world look forward to sitting down for their festive meals.
Drawing on research from its centres in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland, Nautilus has revealed that a Christmas classic such as turkey travels over 1,000 miles from locations in Poland, Italy and the Netherlands before arriving in the UK.
Peter Göransson, Siwertell, explores methods of food handling in a recent Port Technology technical paper
The staple ingredients of the nation’s favourite festive dessert, Christmas pudding, have travelled a combined 12,926 miles, with spices making their way from Sri Lanka, raisins beginning their journey in California, and mixed fruit originating from Turkey.
It’s not just food stuffs travelling a tremendous distance either, with most of the UK’s Christmas crackers coming from over 10,000 miles away in China.
Mark Dickinson, Nautilus General Secretary, said: “As an island nation, we rely on shipping and seafarers to bring us our essential goods, making up 95% of imports and 75% of exports.
“Whilst we consider the traditional Christmas dinner as a quintessentially British invention, it is in fact far more exotic, and reliant on seafarers, than most people would expect.
“However, many of the maritime professionals who have helped put food on tables and presents under trees across the country this Christmas will be serving at sea without the opportunity to enjoy the day at home with their loved ones.
“We hope the wider public will consider the distance travelled by goods, not just at Christmas, but all year round, and the pivotal role seafarers play in maintaining our status as a dominant maritime nation.”