Life Cycle Assessment of apple and peach production, distribution and consumption in Mediterranean fruit sector

Elisabet Vinyes, Luis Asin, Simó Alegre, Pere Muñoz, Jesús Boschmonart, Carles M. Gasol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Peach and apple are two important products in the Mediterranean fruit sector. The aim of this work is to analyse environmentally the entire life cycle stages of Mediterranean fruit production, from cradle to grave, considering agricultural, retail, consumption and disposal stages, using a multiyear approach with data from ten years of real production. The results of the study show that, for both fruits, the agricultural stage presents the highest contribution in 13 environmental impact categories, whereas the retail stage makes the highest contribution in 5 impact categories, and the consumption stage has the lowest values in all impact categories. The results related to the carbon footprint calculation show that the retail stage makes a contribution of 39%, the agricultural stage 36%, consumption 23% and disposal 2%. The study also quantified the emissions related to fruit losses during the different stages of the fruit production cycle. Results reveal that the total loss-related emissions are above 10%. This study contributes to completing the fruit LCA literature and provides new environmental information for fruit analysis, introducing the retail, consumption and disposal stages, in order to have a life cycle approach to detect the fruit production hot spots, and to obtain a multiyear perspective analysis to avoid the variability of results related to annual yield and climatic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume149
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Environmental impacts
  • Integrated fruit production
  • LCA
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainable farming

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