(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.

Comparison of European olive production systems

RUSSO, CARLO;CAPPELLETTI, GIULIO MARIO;NICOLETTI, GIUSEPPE MARTINO;
2016-01-01

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.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/342528
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