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Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7245-7260;

Evaluating the CO2 Emission of the Milk Supply Chain in Italy: An Exploratory Study

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06124 Perugia, Italy
Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Bertelli 1, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Full-Text   |   PDF [467 KB, uploaded 5 June 2015]   |  


During the last few years, Italian dairy farms, which gather, process and sell milk at the national level, have strengthened their leading market position at the detriment of dairy cooperatives, operating within regional borders. Moreover, decreasing milk prices and increasing production costs have recently induced many farmers to open automatic vending machines, dispensing raw milk for direct sale to local consumers. In order to contribute to the environmental assessment of alternative systems, this study estimated CO2 emissions related to the transport from production farms to point of sale, for three brands of fresh milk currently sold in the Umbria region (Italy), starting from the food miles indicator as a simple concept, easily understood by consumers. These brands differ in the origin of milk (national, regional and local) and distribution channels (large-scale retail channels for national and regional brands and vending machines for the local one). Thus, we estimated the emissions generated by the transport of the fresh milk consumed by regional households. In agreement with previous studies about CO2 emissions of foreign milk supply chains, the analysis showed that the production system of regional-branded milk, sold by retail channels, is the most efficient in terms of the environmental impact of transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: food miles; CO2 emissions; milk supply chain; Italy food miles; CO2 emissions; milk supply chain; Italy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Torquati, B.; Taglioni, C.; Cavicchi, A. Evaluating the CO2 Emission of the Milk Supply Chain in Italy: An Exploratory Study. Sustainability 2015, 7, 7245-7260.

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