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The Carbon and Land Footprint of Certified Food Products

Authors: Valentin Bellassen; Marion Drut; Federico Antonioli; Ružica Brečić; Michele Donati; Hugo Ferrer-Pérez; Lisa Gauvrit; +14 Authors

The Carbon and Land Footprint of Certified Food Products

Abstract

Abstract The carbon and land footprint of 26 certified food products – geographical indications and organic products and their conventional references are assessed. This assessment goes beyond existing literature by (1) designing a calculation method fit for the comparison between certified food and conventional production, (2) using the same calculation method and parameters for 52 products – 26 Food Quality Schemes and their reference products – to allow for a meaningful comparison, (3) transparently documenting this calculation method and opening access to the detailed results and the underlying data, and (4) providing the first assessment of the carbon and land footprint of geographical indications. The method used is Life Cycle Assessment, largely relying on the Cool Farm Tool for the impact assessment. The most common indicator of climate impact, the carbon footprint expressed per ton of product, is not significantly different between certified foods and their reference products. The only exception to this pattern are vegetal organic products, whose carbon footprint is 16% lower. This is because the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from the absence of mineral fertilizers is never fully offset by the associated lower yield. The climate impact of certified food per hectare is however 26% than their reference and their land footprint is logically 24% higher. Technical specifications directly or indirectly inducing a lower use of mineral fertilizers are a key driver of this pattern. So is yield, which depends both on terroir and farming practices. Overall, this assessment reinforces the quality policy of the European Union: promoting certified food is not inconsistent with mitigating climate change.

Countries
Netherlands, France, Croatia
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Organic product Land footprint Agricultural science media_common.cataloged_instance European union Life-cycle assessment media_common business.industry Impact assessment Agriculture Greenhouse gas Carbon footprint Environmental science business

Keywords

carbon footprint, WASS, certified food ; carbon footprint ; land footprint ; organic farming ; geographical indications, organic farming, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy, geographical indications, [SDE.ES]Environmental Sciences/Environment and Society, Agrarische Economie en Plattelandsbeleid, [SHS.ECO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Economics and Finance, [SDE.ES]Environmental Sciences/Environmental and Society, General Business, Management and Accounting, certified food, [SHS.ENVIR]Humanities and Social Sciences/Environmental studies, land footprint, Food Science

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    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    6
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    6
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
6
Top 10%
Average
Average
bronze
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