Life cycle assessment application in the fruit sector: state of the art and recommendations for environmental declarations of fruit products

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Alessandro K. Cerutti
  • Gabriele L. Beccaro
  • Bruun, Sander
  • Simona Bosco
  • Dario Donno
  • Bruno Notarnicola
  • Giancarlo Bounous

Modern food production is very diverse with high levels of specialisation and complexity. These features inevitably reflect on methods in the application of LCA to food products and agro-systems. System boundaries, functional units, allocation procedures and several other aspects contribute to there being substantial differentiation in the structure of LCA applications in fruit production systems, leading to significantly different results. Indeed, although scientific literature on the topic is recent and not particularly extensive, there are already many different ways of conducting LCAs in orchards. The aim of this paper is to propose a framework for selecting the best parameters for an LCA application in fruit production systems according to the objective of the study. This has been achieved by reviewing the scientific and technical literature on the topic. In particular papers from international journals and conference proceedings have been considered and the review has covered all main aspects for conducting an LCA in fruit production systems. The particular characteristics considered were objectives, system boundaries, the product considered, the functional unit, data origin and the environmental impact assessment method used. A substantial part of the paper is devoted to the modelling of the orchard, as this is key to a reliable application of any impact assessment approach. Rather than merely describing the theoretical model, this paper presents concrete recommendations about how to build the orchard system for LCA application avoiding over or under-estimations of the different orchard stages.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Towards eco-efficient agriculture and food systems: Selected papers from the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Food Conference, 2012, in Saint Malo, France

    Research areas

  • Fruit products, Functional unit, Orchard, Sustainable production, System boundaries, System modelling for impact assessment

ID: 130365115