The implementation of scientific studies can help to improve sustainable solutions in the agri-food sector according to current European policy. The present paper aims to evaluate the carbon footprint, according to ISO/TS 14067:2013, of 0.5 kg of sweet cherries packaged in clamshell made in polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The research assesses the supply chain, from agricultural (from nursery to dismantling) to the processing phase in firms located in the Apulia region. Results show a global warming potential over a fixed period corresponding to 100 years equal to 0.584 kg CO2eq, primarily deriving from agricultural management (0.442 kg CO2eq) and secondly from fruit processing (0.068 kg CO2eq). In the orchard phase, the main impacts derived from electricity consumed to pump groundwater used for irrigation and fertigation activities (15.84% of the total), transportation of manure (6.42% of the total), ploughing activity (4.83% of the total) and production of nitrogen fertilisers (4.28% of the total). Cherries processing in the collecting centre showed impacts from electricity consumption (5.57% of the total) and from waste deriving from damaged or non-conforming cherries (4.74% of the total). The PET clamshell production phase had an impact deriving principally from the use of PET granulate (0.0743 kg CO2eq). The study highlighted that manure administration and pruning activities contribute to decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis showed that substitution of electricity-mix deriving from the Italian national grid with a photovoltaic plant lowered GHG emissions by 19%. The present study could contribute in providing suggestions to stakeholders and scholars in reducing GHG emissions and promoting more environmentally sustainable sweet cherry production practices.

Carbon footprint of processed sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.): From nursery to market

Giungato, P.;
2019

Abstract

The implementation of scientific studies can help to improve sustainable solutions in the agri-food sector according to current European policy. The present paper aims to evaluate the carbon footprint, according to ISO/TS 14067:2013, of 0.5 kg of sweet cherries packaged in clamshell made in polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The research assesses the supply chain, from agricultural (from nursery to dismantling) to the processing phase in firms located in the Apulia region. Results show a global warming potential over a fixed period corresponding to 100 years equal to 0.584 kg CO2eq, primarily deriving from agricultural management (0.442 kg CO2eq) and secondly from fruit processing (0.068 kg CO2eq). In the orchard phase, the main impacts derived from electricity consumed to pump groundwater used for irrigation and fertigation activities (15.84% of the total), transportation of manure (6.42% of the total), ploughing activity (4.83% of the total) and production of nitrogen fertilisers (4.28% of the total). Cherries processing in the collecting centre showed impacts from electricity consumption (5.57% of the total) and from waste deriving from damaged or non-conforming cherries (4.74% of the total). The PET clamshell production phase had an impact deriving principally from the use of PET granulate (0.0743 kg CO2eq). The study highlighted that manure administration and pruning activities contribute to decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis showed that substitution of electricity-mix deriving from the Italian national grid with a photovoltaic plant lowered GHG emissions by 19%. The present study could contribute in providing suggestions to stakeholders and scholars in reducing GHG emissions and promoting more environmentally sustainable sweet cherry production practices.
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