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Global Ideas

A climate-friendly fix for food transport

Transporting food is bad for the climate - coolants used to keep fruit, vegetables and meat fresh on the road are worse than CO2 emissions. Now, a South African firm is making the trip from farm to store greener.

Watch video 06:22

Refrigerated transport goes green

Project goal: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the cold transport of produce in South Africa 
Implementation: To measure the environmental impact of refrigerated transport, the first testing hall in Africa has been built. The company Transfrig has developed a new cooling system that considerably reduces emissions caused by coolants
Project partners:  International Climate Initiative (IKI), German development agency GIZ, South African Bureau of Standards SABS, Transfrig, Cemafroid, the South African Department of Trade and Industry DTI
Budget: 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) 
 
The food in our supermarkets often has to travel long distances. To keep it fresh in the meantime, it needs to stay cool on the journey. But refrigerating vast quantities of produce on their journey from farm to shelf is bad for the climate. Food-cooling trucks and containers usually operate with coolants that act as greenhouse gases nearly 4,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide. A firm in South Africa has developed a "green" cooling system that should keep food fresh and cut down on emissions - it hopes to export the idea around the world. 
 
A film by Cornelia Borrmann 

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