Water Footprint of Food Quality Schemes

Antonio Bodini*, Sara Chiussi, Michele Donati, Valentin Bellassen, Áron Török, Lisbeth Dries, Dubravka Sinčić Đorić, Lisa Gauvrit, Efthimia Tsakiridou, Edward Majewski, Bojan Ristic, Zaklina Stojanovic, Jose Maria Gil Roig, Apichaya Lilavanichakul, Nguyán Quánh An, Filippo Arfini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Water Footprint (WF, henceforth) is an indicator of water consumption and has taken ground to assess the impact of agricultural production processes over freshwater. The focus of this study was contrasting non-conventional, certified products with identical products obtained through conventional production schemes (REF, henceforth) using WF as a measure of their pressure on water resources. The aim was to the show whether products that are certified as Food Quality Schemes (FQS, henceforth) could also incorporate the lower impact on water among their quality features. To perform this comparison, we analysed 23 products selected among Organic, PDO and PGI as FQS, and their conventional counterparts. By restricting the domain of analysis to the on-farm phase of the production chain, we obtained that that no significant differences emerged between the FQS and REF products. However, if the impact is measured per unit area rather than per unit product, FQS showed a significant reduction in water demand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190045
Pages (from-to)145-160
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • agricultural production
  • crop water requirement
  • evapotranspiration
  • irrigation
  • water footprint
  • yield


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