The agro-food production and distribution processes are identified as the main source and human-induced greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions that significantly affect the environmental ecosystems and contribute to global warming and climate change. Furthermore, with the expected raise of the world population by 2050, the global food demand will double, requiring the intensification of more environmentally sustainable practices and choices in agro-food supply chains. Notwithstanding the literature widely debates on the environmental impacts of agro-food ecosystems and processes (e.g., global warming, eutrophication, deforestation, energy consumption), there is still room for tools and decision-support methodologies to help practitioners and policy-makers in merging economic and environmental goals. Considering the energy balance as an important metric of sustainable food supply chains (FSC), this paper proposes a tool for the energy-effective management of time-based food processes and flows from-farm-to-fork. The tool accounts energy costs to the food production, storage and distribution activities and implements a mixed integer programming model (MILP) to minimize the overall energy contributions across the food supply chain. Food miles, logistics infrastructures, and level of technology are enquired to find out the main stressor of an energy-effective food supply chain. A numerical example inspired by the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chains is proposed. The analysed scenario is inspired by the some of the main perishable food corridors across the MED area. The tool underpins the selection of the most energy-efficient food products and processes, and finally shifts the focus from the energy balance to the role of the exergy balance in sustainable FSC.

Energy balance in sustainable food supply chain processes

ACCORSI, RICCARDO;MANZINI, RICCARDO;GALLO, ANDREA;REGATTIERI, ALBERTO;MORA, CRISTINA
2014

Abstract

The agro-food production and distribution processes are identified as the main source and human-induced greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions that significantly affect the environmental ecosystems and contribute to global warming and climate change. Furthermore, with the expected raise of the world population by 2050, the global food demand will double, requiring the intensification of more environmentally sustainable practices and choices in agro-food supply chains. Notwithstanding the literature widely debates on the environmental impacts of agro-food ecosystems and processes (e.g., global warming, eutrophication, deforestation, energy consumption), there is still room for tools and decision-support methodologies to help practitioners and policy-makers in merging economic and environmental goals. Considering the energy balance as an important metric of sustainable food supply chains (FSC), this paper proposes a tool for the energy-effective management of time-based food processes and flows from-farm-to-fork. The tool accounts energy costs to the food production, storage and distribution activities and implements a mixed integer programming model (MILP) to minimize the overall energy contributions across the food supply chain. Food miles, logistics infrastructures, and level of technology are enquired to find out the main stressor of an energy-effective food supply chain. A numerical example inspired by the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chains is proposed. The analysed scenario is inspired by the some of the main perishable food corridors across the MED area. The tool underpins the selection of the most energy-efficient food products and processes, and finally shifts the focus from the energy balance to the role of the exergy balance in sustainable FSC.
Making Food Supply Chains Efficient, Responsive and Sustainable
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Riccardo Accorsi; Riccardo Manzini; Andrea Gallo; Alberto Regattieri; Cristina Mora
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/375258
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