Influence of production methods and transport distances on the Greenhouse Gas-Balance of organic apple juice

Organic farming is the most adequate system for the production of food and other agricultural 9 products to sustain ecological and environmental sources. Ecologically produced foods are 10 becoming more and more popular; accordingly, the demand for organic products is growing. In 11 addition to the renunciation of the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, the philosophy of 12 this type of food production includes as well the benefits of seasonal and regional goods such 13 as short ways of production and distribution. 14 In the present study the total emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the production of 15 organic apple juice from two different regions were investigated. The goal of the analysis is to 16 clarify whether extensive agricultural production methods in terms of the degree of 17 mechanisation used in the cultivation of apples have a greater influence on the total emissions 18 produced by the apple juice value-added chain in comparison to potentially longer 19 transportation distances to the fruit processing company. For this reason organic apples from 20 Germany’s “Altes Land” region were compared with organic apples from the Southern 21 Carpathians (Romania) under the restriction that the pressing of the fruits takes place in a 22 German facility. The apples from “Altes Land” region are produced with highly mechanised 23 production methods and are due to the restriction comparatively nearby to the fruit processing 24 plant. In contrast the apples from the Southern Carpathians are produced primarily by hand, but 25 need long-distance transports to the German fruit processing plant. 26 The scope of the investigation was the whole value-added chain from the cultivation of the 27 apples to the delivery of the juice to the retailer, whereby the emissions of the respective 28 upstream chain were analysed in addition to the direct emissions. Despite the very extensive 29 agricultural cultivation methods used in the Southern Carpathians, which could be assumed not 2 30 to produce any GHG emissions, the apple juice from these apples were associated with higher 31 total emissions (782 g CO2e/l apple juice) than apples from the “Altes Land“ region 32 (630 g CO2e/l apple juice). The reason for this is the long distance over which the Romanian 33 apples needed to be transported to the fruit processing plant, which exceeded the GHG 34 emissions saved during the apple cultivation in this region. Another result of this study made 35 clear that the post-harvest processing produced the greatest amount of GHG emissions in the 36 apple juice value-added chain (more than 50%.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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