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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 825; doi:10.3390/su8080825

Comparison of European Olive Production Systems

1
Department of Economics CeSETEA, University of Foggia, Via R. Caggese n. 1, 71121 Foggia, Italy
2
RodaxAgro Ltd., Kottou 48, Metamorphosis, 14452 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zenon Foltynowicz, Alessandro Ruggieri and Samuel Petros Sebhatu
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2013 KB, uploaded 22 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

(1) Background: Spain, Italy, and Greece are the world’s top olive oil producers. In recent decades, these countries have gradually diversified their farming system in the olive groves. The element of innovation with respect to the state of the art is that this paper aims to compare the environmental performance of different farming systems in a European context by performing a simplified Life Cycle Assessment; (2) Methods: Environmental performance was calculated according to the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment and the “Guidance for the implementation of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)”. Average data were considered in order to describe a system with a great degree of complexity and high spatial heterogeneity; (3) Results: The study highlights the difficulty of identifying the farming method that presents the best environmental performance in each of the impact categories considered. In Greece, the lowest use of diesel, electricity, and water brings about advantages for many impact categories, albeit with low yields. While the highest olive yield obtained in Italy has positive consequences in terms of global warming, the highest use of fertilisers, in many cases, entails higher environmental impacts. On the other hand, in Spain the highest use of organo-phosphorous pesticides entails the highest impacts of eco-toxicity; (4) Conclusion: the reduction of the use of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as water conservation, are important issues which require the optimization of timing and techniques in order to achieve environmental advantages. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; product environmental footprint; olive farming system life cycle assessment; product environmental footprint; olive farming system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Russo, C.; Cappelletti, G.M.; Nicoletti, G.M.; Di Noia, A.E.; Michalopoulos, G. Comparison of European Olive Production Systems. Sustainability 2016, 8, 825.

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