Potential of LCA for designing technological innovations – the case of organic eggs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological sustainability in agriculture is a concept that contains various environmental problems, which are caused by emission of pollutants and unsustainable use of limited resources, during different processes along the food chain. Technological innovations may help to improve ecological sustainability of food products. Preceding to the development of ecological sustainable technological innovations three questions need to be answered; 1) how ecological sustainable is the current production process, 2) which processes in the chain causes the highest ecological impact and 3) which production parameters significantly affect the ecological impact of these processes? The aim of this research is to demonstrate Life Cycle Assessment to the designers of technological innovations Life Cycle Assessment as a method to answer these questions, by means of a case study of the organic egg. In this study the LCA of organic eggs was calculated and compared to equivalent egg products. Ecological hotspots within the production chain were identified and the effectiveness of production parameters from the laying hen farm were identified on the LCA using sensitivity analysis. This LCA case study showed that organic eggs score worse than equivalent eggs on acidification, eutrophication and land use. Technological innovators should focus on ammonia emission from the laying hen farm to reduce the impact of acidification. Another focus should be nitrate leaching during concentrate production to reduce eutrophication. Innovative organic laying hen farmers may focus on a high feed conversion to improve the LCA of organic eggs in a broader sense. A shift from single tiered housing of laying hens to multi tiered housing with manure drying on manure belts, can reduce acidification 53% and eutrophication with 18%, almost enough to level out the 60% higher acidification and the 25% higher eutrophication of organic eggs compared to equivalent egg products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 4th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 6 - 8 July, 2009
EditorsC. Lokhorst, P.W.G. Groot Koerkamp
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Pages55-62
ISBN (Print)9789086861125
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThe 4th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, Wageningen, The Netherlands -
Duration: 6 Jul 20098 Jul 2009

Conference

ConferenceThe 4th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Period6/07/098/07/09

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    Dekker, S. E. M., de Boer, I. J. M., Aarnink, A. J. A., & Groot Koerkamp, P. W. G. (2009). Potential of LCA for designing technological innovations – the case of organic eggs. In C. Lokhorst, & P. W. G. Groot Koerkamp (Eds.), The 4th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 6 - 8 July, 2009 (pp. 55-62). Wageningen Academic Publishers. https://edepot.wur.nl/171501