Sailing ships back in vogue as a green alternative to conventional shipping

One of the world’s oldest methods of transporting goods is making an unlikely comeback. Sailing ships, which kept the British Empire in tea, sugar and tobacco, are back in vogue as a green alternative to conventional shipping.

Wine, coffee, cacao beans and rum are among the items filling holds on a growing number of ships that are reviving old trade routes more than a century after the advent of steam engines ended the golden age of sail.

Restaurants such as Noma in Denmark and eco chef Tom Hunt’s Poco, which has branches in Bristol and London, sell wine that arrived under sail. New Dawn Traders, an organisation set up by Jamie Pike, a Bristol-based environmentalist, to transport goods using wind power, imports rum, chocolate and coffee on a Dutch ship, Tres Hombres. “Our aspirations are beyond just trading. We want to inspire people; to reconnect consumers with producers,” said Mr Pike.

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