Environmental impacts of animal-based food supply chains with market characteristics

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Title: Environmental impacts of animal-based food supply chains with market characteristics
Authors: Chen, WenhoaJafarzadeh, SepidehThakur, MaitriHolden, Nicholas M.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12965
Date: 20-Aug-2021
Online since: 2022-07-04T15:08:02Z
Abstract: Animal-based food supply chains lead to significant environmental impacts, which can be influenced by production systems, distribution networks and consumption patterns. To develop strategy aimed at reducing the environmental impact of animal-based food supply chains, the common environmental hotspots among different types of food, the role of transport logistics and the consequence of end market need to be better understood. Life cycle assessment was adopted to model three types of animal-based food chains (beef, butter and salmon), with specific technologies, high spatial-resolution logistics and typical consumption patterns for three markets: local, regional (intra-European) and international. The results confirmed that the farm production stage usually had the greatest environmental impact, except when air transport was used for distribution. Potentially, the role of end market also can significantly influence the environmental impacts. To understand more, three improvement options were examined in detail with regard to hotspots for climate change: novel feed ingredients (farm production stage), sustainable aviation fuel (transport and logistics stage) and reduction of wasted food (consumption and end of life stage). Significant reduction was achieved in the salmon system by sustainable aviation fuel (64%) and novel feed (15%). Minimizing food waste drove the greatest reduction in the beef supply chain (23%) and the international butter supply chain can reduce 50% of GHG mission by adopting sustainable aviation fuel. Combined interventions could reduce GHG emission of animal-based food supply chains by 15% to 82%, depending on market, transport and food waste behaviour. The results show that eco-efficiency information of animal-based foods should include the full supply chain. The effective mitigation strategy to achieve the greatest reduction should not only consider the impacts on-farm, but also detail of the downstream impacts, such as food distribution network and consumption patterns.
Funding Details: European Commission Horizon 2020
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Science of the Total Environment
Volume: 783
Start page: 1
End page: 10
Copyright (published version): 2021 Elsevier
Keywords: SustainabilityLife cycle analysisAnimal-based food supply chainSpatial-resolution
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147077
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0048-9697
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Biosystems and Food Engineering Research Collection

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