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Life Cycle Assessment across the Food Supply Chain

Mogensen, Lisbeth; Hermansen, John E.; Halberg, Niels; Dalgaard, Randi; Vis, J.C. and Smith, B. Gail (2009) Life Cycle Assessment across the Food Supply Chain. In: Baldwin, Cheryl J. (Ed.) Sustainability in the Food Industry. IFT Press. Wiley-Blackwell, chapter 5, pp. 115-144.

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Summary

The environmental impact is one of the major pillars of concerns when addressing the sustainability of food production and sustainable food consumption strategies.
To assess to what extent food production affects the environment, one needs to choose a proper environmental assessment tool. Different types of assessment tools have been developed to establish environmental indicators, which can be used to determine the environmental impact of livestock production systems or agricultural products. The environmen¬tal assessment tools can be divided into the area based or product based (Halberg et al., 2005). Area-based indicators are, for example, nitrate leached per hectare from a pig farm, and product-based indicators are, for example, global warming potential per kg pork (Dalgaard, 2007).
The area-based indicators are useful for evaluating farm emissions of nutrients such as nitrate that has an effect on the local environment. On the other hand, when considering the greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural production, the product-based indicators are useful for evaluating the impact of food productions on the global environment (e. g., climate change) and have the advantage that in addition to emis-sions from the farms, emissions related to the production of input s (e.g., soybean and artificial fertilizer) and outputs (e.g., slurry exported to other farms) are also included. In that way it is easier to avoid pollution swapping, which means that the solving of one pollution problem creates a new (Dalgaard, 2007).


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Life Cycle Assessment, Food Supply Chain
Subjects: Farming Systems
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Hansen, Grethe
ID Code:15610
Deposited On:07 Apr 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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