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

Author

Listed:
  • Lucio Cecchini

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126 Perugia, Italy)

  • Biancamaria Torquati

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126 Perugia, Italy)

  • Chiara Paffarini

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126 Perugia, Italy)

  • Marco Barbanera

    () (CRB—Biomass Research Centre, Via G. Duranti, 63, 06125 Perugia, Italy)

  • Daniele Foschini

    () (CRB—Biomass Research Centre, Via G. Duranti, 63, 06125 Perugia, Italy)

  • Massimo Chiorri

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126 Perugia, Italy)

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 CO 2 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucio Cecchini & Biancamaria Torquati & Chiara Paffarini & Marco Barbanera & Daniele Foschini & Massimo Chiorri, 2016. "The Milk Supply Chain in Italy’s Umbria Region: Environmental and Economic Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-15, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:8:p:728-:d:74985
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Klaas Calker & Paul Berentsen & Gerard Giesen & Ruud Huirne, 2005. "Identifying and ranking attributes that determine sustainability in Dutch dairy farming," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 22(1), pages 53-63, March.
    2. Giulio Mario Cappelletti & Giuseppe Ioppolo & Giuseppe Martino Nicoletti & Carlo Russo, 2014. "Energy Requirement of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(8), pages 1-9, August.
    3. Van Passel, Steven & Nevens, Frank & Mathijs, Erik & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2007. "Measuring farm sustainability and explaining differences in sustainable efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-161, April.
    4. Thomassen, M.A. & Dolman, M.A. & van Calker, K.J. & de Boer, I.J.M., 2009. "Relating life cycle assessment indicators to gross value added for Dutch dairy farms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2278-2284, June.
    5. Thomassen, M.A. & van Calker, K.J. & Smits, M.C.J. & Iepema, G.L. & de Boer, I.J.M., 2008. "Life cycle assessment of conventional and organic milk production in the Netherlands," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-3), pages 95-107, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrik Mouron & Christian Willersinn & Sabrina Möbius & Jens Lansche, 2016. "Environmental Profile of the Swiss Supply Chain for French Fries: Effects of Food Loss Reduction, Loss Treatments and Process Modifications," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-20, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dairy profitability; LCA; carbon footprint; environmental and economic sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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