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Article

Old Wine in New Bottles: Exploiting Data from the EU’s Farm Accountancy Data Network for Pan-EU Sustainability Assessments of Agricultural Production Systems

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Information and Computational Sciences Department, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
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Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
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Multidisciplinary Water Management Group, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
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Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chris Short, John Hammond and Lindsay Todman
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10080; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810080
Received: 30 July 2021 / Revised: 24 August 2021 / Accepted: 2 September 2021 / Published: 9 September 2021
The paper presents insights from carrying out a pan-EU sustainability assessment using Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data (the old wine) with societal metabolism accounting (SMA) processes (the new bottles). The SMA was deployed as part of a transdisciplinary study with EU policy stakeholders of how EU policy may need to change to deliver sustainability commitments, particularly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The paper outlines the concepts underlying SMA and its specific implementation using the FADN data. A key focus was on the interactions between crop and livestock systems and how this determines imported feedstuffs requirements, with environmental and other footprints beyond the EU. Examples of agricultural production systems performance are presented in terms of financial/efficiency, resource use (particularly the water footprint) and quantifies potential pressures on the environment. Benefits and limitations of the FADN dataset and the SMA outputs are discussed, highlighting the challenges of linking quantified pressures with environmental impacts. The paper concludes that the complexity of agriculture’s interactions with economy and society means there is great need for conceptual frameworks, such as SMA, that can take multiple, non-equivalent, perspectives and that can be deployed with policy stakeholders despite generating uncomfortable knowledge. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; societal metabolism; FADN; common agricultural policy; water–energy–food nexus sustainability; societal metabolism; FADN; common agricultural policy; water–energy–food nexus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Matthews, K.B.; Renner, A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.H.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Cadillo-Benalcazar, J.; Schyns, J.F.; Giampietro, M. Old Wine in New Bottles: Exploiting Data from the EU’s Farm Accountancy Data Network for Pan-EU Sustainability Assessments of Agricultural Production Systems. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10080. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810080

AMA Style

Matthews KB, Renner A, Blackstock KL, Waylen KA, Miller DG, Wardell-Johnson DH, Juarez-Bourke A, Cadillo-Benalcazar J, Schyns JF, Giampietro M. Old Wine in New Bottles: Exploiting Data from the EU’s Farm Accountancy Data Network for Pan-EU Sustainability Assessments of Agricultural Production Systems. Sustainability. 2021; 13(18):10080. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810080

Chicago/Turabian Style

Matthews, Keith B., Ansel Renner, Kirsty L. Blackstock, Kerry A. Waylen, Dave G. Miller, Doug H. Wardell-Johnson, Alba Juarez-Bourke, Juan Cadillo-Benalcazar, Joep F. Schyns, and Mario Giampietro. 2021. "Old Wine in New Bottles: Exploiting Data from the EU’s Farm Accountancy Data Network for Pan-EU Sustainability Assessments of Agricultural Production Systems" Sustainability 13, no. 18: 10080. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810080

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