Spectacular lugger to deliver fair trade cargo

3 min


Fans of sail in for a treat!

A new green initiative designed to bring ethically sourced products from overseas to Plymouth will see its first cargo ‘land’ in Devon over the summer period. 

The Lynher Community Interest Company will be bringing its first shipment of organic and fair trade produce into Sutton harbour on Thursday 22 June. 

Two luggers, the Grayhound and the Lynher (a Tamar barge) will play a central role in the new initiative which is part of the Sail Trade South West project supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund players. 

Project organisers hope the project will increase awareness around the environmental impact of importing foods and goods by sea and air. 

‘It’s important because it will help to educate people about the distance food travels to get to their tables and the amount of carbon emissions which is produced in doing so,’  says Barbara Bridgman, Sail Trade South West.

‘It can be easy to change the situation as food can travel in different ways without creating such huge quantities of emissions which is why we are embracing the power of the wind to sail.’ 

The team behind the project say that around 90% of items in the average UK household have been shipped from overseas by massive container ships. They add that these vessels create 3% of global greenhouse emissions.

‘The shipping industry has a harmful impact on the planet as the vessels are ginormous and they produce huge amounts of carbon emissions. We would see a massive improvement to our environment if we used cleaner energy to transport our goods.’ 

‘Why the rush to stock our shelves with products from the other side of the planet when we could be supporting our local producers and feel part of an environment change for the better.’

Wind power: using a primary energy source

The team hope that by revisiting wind power as a primary energy source then the three masted luggers will be the first among many to embrace a new age of sail. 

Lynher CIC has partnered up with fair trade brokers, The New Dawn Traders, based in Falmouth, to promote a new way of thinking about food which links the consumers directly to the producers.

It’s expected that the Grayhound will arrive into Plymouth Sound with a variety of extra virgin olive oils, olives, organic almonds, chickpeas and wine from Portugal. It is also expected to contain Colombian chocolate bars, cocoa powder and unrefined sugar (panela).

Organisers say proceeds from the sales will go towards community work to the restoration of Ibis, a Cornish lugger which was built in 1930. At the time of her launch, she was the largest fishing boat in Mevagissey.  

Upon her re-launch, Ibis will operate a regular cargo route along the south west. It’s hoped the crew will be able to provide people with information about our maritime heritage and how we can reduce the impact of human activity on the planet. 

Photography: Nic Compton. Image kindly supplied by Sail Trade South West.

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