Carbon Footprint Analysis of Dairy Food Waste: Farm-To-Fork Life Cycle Based Assessment along Dairy Value Chain
AuthorAl-Obadi, Muna A.
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Reducing the agricultural industry's carbon footprint is a severe challenge, as around a third of the produced food is wasted along the supply chain globally. Despite attempts to reduce carbon emissions from the agri-food system, agriculture contributes significantly to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, with approximately 51 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent globally. Although ruminant animals are a primary source of meat and dairy products, livestock's supply chain, including their wastes, releases a considerable greenhouse gas such as methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. The presented paper starts with bringing up a mini literature review on several methods for quantifying food waste, assessing the environmental impact of food waste, identifying the potential stages along the food supply chain, and providing circular food economy findings for reducing the emissions released from the food waste globally. The study has emphasized that food waste in mass does not necessarily indicate the food waste related impact. Although animal-containing products have relatively low waste in terms of mass, they have a significant food waste-related impact explicitly in global warming potential (Kg C02 eq). The results reveal that milk is the top dairy product responsible for the wastage of dairy products in terms of mass and wastage Carbon Footprint (CF). The consumption stage accounted for nearly 50% of dairy food waste in terms of mass. The primary production stage is responsible for most of the dairy sector's carbon intensity from farm-to-fork life cycle assessment. The study explains the reason why animal-containing food waste carbon intensity gets exacerbated in the primary production chain. Although the wastage carbon footprinting varies among different geographical locations, the United States dominated the top wastage dairy emissions, followed by United Kingdom, Turkey, Slovak Republic, and Germany. Further policy recommendations have been suggested to mitigate the impact of dairy food waste emissions eventually. The paper attempts to support strategic decision-making towards the transition to a sustainable food supply chain in the dairy sector to mitigate food waste challenges ultimately
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