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Life Cycle Assessment in the agri-food sector: an overview of its key aspects, international initiatives, certification, labelling schemesand methodological issues

  • Bruno Notarnicola
  • Giuseppe Tassielli
  • Pietro A. Renzulli
  • Agata Lo Giudice
Chapter

Abstract

Sustainable development and, above all, sustainable production and consumption in the agri-food sector have been key issues since the 2000s, stimulating the creation of many international initiatives and strategies aimed at reducing environmental impacts deriving from food production and consumption and at finding more sustainable ways of production. This first chapter is designed to provide the reader with an as exhaustive as possible overview of the key concerns, applications, and methodological issues of agri-food life cycle assessment (LCA). On this scale the major international initiatives (with a special focus on two relevant and recent European ones), eco-labels and declarations, and footprints (at product level, based on an LCA approach) developed so far are reported. Some of the most important LCA initiatives developed by agricultural and livestock operators, the industry sector, logistics sector, trade, and the end of life of packaging and/or food waste operators are also described in the chapter. Considering that one of the key issues within the agri-food sector is the lack of reliable and up-to-date inventory data on food products and processes, the state of the art of the major existing international LCI databases is reported, and the national and international initiatives currently under development highlighted. Finally, the chapter takes into account dietary issues in the sense that in the context of food sustainability the importance of consumer behaviour and, in particular, dietary behaviour is becoming increasingly recognised, together with the product and its production chain.

Keywords

Agri-food chains Sustainable initiatives Environmental labels Databases Methodological issues Dietary issues 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Notarnicola
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Tassielli
    • 1
  • Pietro A. Renzulli
    • 1
  • Agata Lo Giudice
    • 1
  1. 1.Ionian Department of Law, Economics and EnvironmentUniversity of BariTarantoItaly

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