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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 728; doi:10.3390/su8080728

The Milk Supply Chain in Italy’s Umbria Region: Environmental and Economic Sustainability

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126 Perugia, Italy
2
CRB—Biomass Research Centre, Via G. Duranti, 63, 06125 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
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Abstract

This article aims to investigate the environmental and economic sustainability of five dairy farms in the Umbria Region (Italy). The study also provides an assessment of aggregate sustainability, which is less investigated with reference to cattle milk both globally and in Italy, through the analysis of the relationship between economic and environmental performance. Primary data were collected through a direct survey carried out in 2014. The environmental assessment was conducted with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) “cradle to farm gate” approach, while the economic dimension was evaluated by determining the direct and indirect costs related to the factors involved in the production process. A correlation analysis and a linear regression were performed in order to study the relationship between the carbon footprint (CF) and operating income. The average operating income amounted to 0.03 Euro/L of milk. The CF values of the five companies are contained within a variation range comprised between 0.90 and 1.76 kg CO2 eq/L of milk. The existence of an inverse relationship between the CF of milk and operating income confirms the hypothesis regarding the possibility of implementing strategies aimed at improving performance in both investigated dimensions at the same time, thus increasing the aggregate sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy profitability; LCA; carbon footprint; environmental and economic sustainability dairy profitability; LCA; carbon footprint; environmental and economic sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cecchini, L.; Torquati, B.; Paffarini, C.; Barbanera, M.; Foschini, D.; Chiorri, M. The Milk Supply Chain in Italy’s Umbria Region: Environmental and Economic Sustainability. Sustainability 2016, 8, 728.

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