Towards eco-efficient agriculture and food systems: theory, praxis and future challenges
Magazine article, 2014
This paper introduces the Special Volume (SV) dedicated to the 2012 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Food Conference. During recent years, these conferences have seen a rapid increase in the number of participants, reflecting the development of an interdisciplinary research and development community at the intersection between the agronomic, food/nutrition science and environmental system analysis disciplines. This introductory paper summarises the key issues addressed in the individual papers of this SV, which present a balance between methodological and applied studies. The application of LCA to agro-food systems exemplifies a dynamic and productive interaction between scientific disciplines that previously led separate lives. As a result, LCA in the agro-food sector leads LCA methodological developments on topics such as the attributional versus consequential debate, land use changes, impacts on biodiversity, biotic resource depletion, water use, soil quality, and modelling of direct emissions of crop and animal production systems. Future challenges for the LCA Food research and development domain concern the following issues: functional unit and multi-functionality, emission models, land occupation and transformation, LCA for low-income countries, resilience of agro-food systems and presentation and transparency of results. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Life cycle assessment
Environmental systems analysis
LCA food conference