How we ended out with a trasnational project that will mark the future of environmental standards in the Mediterranean agrofood system. Without forgetting the manufacturing traditions
The “Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)” methodology has been developed by the European Commission in 2013. It is a harmonised method for the quantification of the environmental performance of products and it is based on existing methods and standards, such as the Life Cycle Assessment methodology, which takes into account the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle, from cultivation of raw materials, through processing, transport and use, to disposal and recycling.
The PEF recognises the importance of addressing environmental impacts throughout the entire supply chain of a product in a holistic way. Moreover, this method covers a broad range of environmental impact indicators (e.g. climate change, reduction of the ozone layer, depletion of water resources, land use, eco-toxicity).
PEFMED foresees the development of the “PEFMED method”, which combines the PEF method and a set of socio-economic indicators in a specific territorial context. The “PEFMED method” will be tested in nine product chains and clusters located in different Mediterranean regions: dairy, meat, olive oil, wine, feed, bottled water. In this way, both the environmental impacts and the socio-economic performance of the agrofood products chosen for the testing phase will be assessed.
The results of the testing will be compared with the already available European benchmarks, which are the average environmental performance of the representative products sold in the EU market. In addition, possible improvement solutions to decrease the life cycle environmental impacts will be identified at both technical and managerial level. Companies will be therefore encouraged to implement green production processes while ensuring full respect of local food traditions. Moreover, specific marketing strategies will be developed to communicate the key environmental performance of the nine product chains through transparency, reliability and comparability.