An LCA of French beans from Kenya for decision-makers

Claudine Basset-Mens, Andrew Edewa, Céline Gentil

Abstract


Although challenging, private and public decision-makers increasingly demand for quantitative assessments of the environmental performance of value chains in South contexts. This paper presents and critically analyzes a complete LCA study performed with Endpoint indicators for a public decision-maker for the fresh French bean (FB) value chain of Kenya. A cradle-to-market-gate LCA study was done including five main stages: agricultural production, transport by road before pack-house, pack-house, transport by road after pack-house, intercontinental transport by air-freight and using 1 kg of raw French bean processed as functional unit. Supported by local experts, primary data were collected for all inputs and outputs for 33 farms over 5 counties and 2 pack-houses. An expert-based typology defined four farm types: large-farm, medium-farm, small-holder farm (SHF) contracted and small-holder farm scattered. Best available methods for field emissions were used and adapted when possible to local conditions (e.g. P losses). At market-gate, air-freight was identified as main hot-spot pleading for the design of stabilized FB products that could be sea-freighted. At farm-gate, large differences were observed between farm types and fertilizer, water and land use were the key-drivers of their eco-efficiency. Impacts due to pesticides applications were small at Endpoint level but were incomplete. These results should be validated with a greater sample of stakeholders and the scope of the LCA should be extended to the consumption stage. Research is also needed to provide LCA practitionners with operational and reliable tools for a better inclusion of pesticides’ impacts and uncertainty.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Basset-Mens, C, Acosta-Alba, I, Avadí, A, Bessou, C, Biard, Y, Feschet, P, Perret, S, Tran, T, Vayssières, J, Vigne, M. Towards specific guidelines for applying LCA in South contexts. In proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food sector. 17 - 19 October 2018, Bangkok, Thailand.

Jolliet, O, Margni, M, Charles, R, Humbert, S, Payet, J, Rebitzer, G. Presenting a New Method Impact 2002+: a New Life Cycle Impact Assessment Methodology, 2003. 8:324-330.

Sim S, Barry M, Clift R, Cowell SJ. The relative importance of transport in determining an appropriate sustainability strategy for food sourcing. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 2007 12:422-431.

Milà i Canals L, Muñoz I, Hospido A, Plassmann K, McLaren SJ. Life cycle assessment (LCA) of domestic vs. imported vegetables. Case studies on broccoli, salad crops and green beans. CES Working Paper 01/08. 2008. ISSN 1464-8083. Available at: http://www.ces-surrey.org.uk/

Schenk, R. Canning Greenbeans Ecoprofile of Truitt Brothers Process. Report from the Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability, Institute for Environmental Research and Education. 2007. 43p.

IPCC. Chapter 11: N2O emissions from managed soils, and CO2 emissions from lime and urea application, in: Eggleston, S., Buendia, L., Miwa, K., Ngara, T., Tanabe, K. (Eds.), IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan, 2006. pp. 11.1–11.54.

Bouwman, AF, Van Der Hoek, KW. Scenarios of animal waste production and fertilizer use and associated ammonia emission for the developing countries. Atmos. Environ. 1997. 31, 4095–4102. doi:10.1016/s1352-2310(97)00288-4.

Nemecek, T, Kägi, T. Life Cycle Inventories of Agricultural Production Systems. Final report ecoinvent n°15. Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories Ecoinvent - ART, 2007. Zürich and Dübendorf, Switzerland.

Angima, SD, Stott, DE, O’Neill, MK, Ong, CK, Weesies, GA. Soil erosion prediction using RUSLE for central Kenyan highland conditions. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 2003. 97: 295–308

Zöbisch, MA, Richter, C, Heiligtag, B, Schlott, R. Nutrient losses from cropland in the Central Highlands of Kenya due to surface runoff and soil erosion. Soil & Tillage Research 1995. 33: 109- 116.

Dones, R, Bauer, C, Bolliger, R, Burger, B, Faist Emmenegger, M, Frischknecht, R, Heck, T, Jungbluth, N, Röder, A, Tuchschmid, M. Life cycle inventories of energy systems: results for current systems in Switzerland and other UCTE countries, Final report ecoinvent data v2.0. Swiss Centre for LCI, PSI, 2007. Dübendorf and Villigen, Switzerland.

Sutter, J. Life cycle inventories of pesticides, Final report ecoinvent data v2.2. Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, 2010. St Gallen, Switzerland.

Pfister, S, Saner, D, Koehler, A. The environmental relevance of freshwater consumption in global power production. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 2011. 16: 580-591.

European Commission. International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook – General guide for life cycle assessment. Joint Research Centre - Institute for Environment and Sustainability. 2010. Luxembourg.

Perrin A, Basset-Mens C, Gabrielle B. Life cycle assessment of horticultural products: a review focusing on cropping systems diversity and the estimation of field emissions. Int J LCA 2014. 19 (6): 1247-1263. DOI: 10.1007/s11367-014-0724-3

Stoessel, F, Juraske, R, Pfister, S, Hellweg, S. Life cycle inventory and carbon and water FoodPrint of fruits and vegetables: application to a Swiss retailer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012. 46: 3253-3262.

Labouze, E, Schultze, A, Cruypenninck, H. Etude de l’impact environnemental du transport des fruits et légumes frais importés et consommés en France métropolitaine. Bio Intelligence Service. Final report for ADEME, 2007. France, 126p + Annexes.

Fantke, P, Jolliet, O. Life cycle human health impacts of 875 pesticides. Int J Life Cycle Assess 2016. 21: 722-733. doi: 10.1007/s11367-015-0910-y.

Köllner, T. Land use in product life cycles and its consequences for ecosystem quality. PhD thesis No.2519, 2001. University St. Gallen.

Gentil, C, Basset-Mens, C, Fantke, P, Mottes, C, Feschet, F. Pesticide emission and toxicity models in LCA need to be adapted for tropical regions. In proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food sector. 17 - 19 October 2018, Bangkok, Thailand.




 

Copyright © IJoLCAS (e-ISSN: 2548-804X)
Publisher: ILCAN (Indonesian Life Cycle Assessment Network) and LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences)