Deliverable 4.1 aims at assessing and developing the environmental footprints of real-life pilots and identified large-scale reference products. LCAs of the following pilots entailed by GourMed are being carried out:
The environmental footprints serve as a basis for identifying sustainability hot spots in Mediterranean agri-food chains as represented by the pilots and for providing information on the competitive advantage and challenges respectively of small-actor agri-food value chains versus industrial large-scale production from a sustainability perspective. Regarding the latter, for each pilot product, an industrial large-scale reference case was defined either by discussions with the pilot companies directly or through the partners responsible for the pilot.
A life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out in order to create an environmental profile. In addition to the established LCA categories, issues of particular importance to Mediterranean agriculture, such as biodiversity or water availability, will be included into the analysis. These aspects are currently not fully covered by the LCA methodology. By including these additional indicators, a broader picture can be gained on the small-scale regional agricultural and food supply chains in the MED region, highlighting their positive impacts as well as problematic areas or challenges faced.