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The food and drink industry in Europe, of which 99 % are SMEs, is highly fragmented, and food chains are very complex.Hence, to assess the environmental sustainability of a product there is a need for applying integrated, harmonised andscientifically robust methodologies, together with appropriate communication strategies for making environmentalsustainability understandable to the market.

SENSE will deliver a harmonized system for environmental impact assessment of food & drink products. The research will evaluate existing relevant environmental impact assessment methodologies, and consider socio-economical, quality and safety aspects, an approach that has been rare up till now, to deliver a new integral system that can be linked to monitoring and traceability data. The concept of harmonized environmental impact assessment system will integrate: (i) (regionalized) data gathering system; (i) matrix of key environmental performance indicators; (iii) methodology for environmental impact assessment; and (iv) a certification scheme. The methodology will be transferred to food & drink sectors and stakeholders of the food supply chain by means of specific communications strategies.

SENSE will validate the new harmonized system in the juice, meat & dairy and aquaculture chains. The methodology and the associated software will be modular allowing its implementation for any food product. In addition, it will be economically viable and acceptable for the consumers, food industry and relevant stakeholders of the food and drink chain.

These tools will allow food companies to set realistic environmental sustainability goals and to improve their competitiveness towards a more sustainable production culture for all levels of the production process. The sustainability information collected along the production cycle of any food stuff and reflected into the EID (Environmental Identification Document) will be accessible by the EID-Communication Platform, contributing to make the environmental sustainability part of the usual purchasing behavior of consumers and provide a competitive advantage to those products (and companies) which choose to use the developed concept.

External partners are five universities and public research institutions, four national and European organizations and eleven private companies.

The project is coordinated by Marine and Food Technological Centre (AZTI), Spain.
StatusCurrent
Period01/01/1231/12/14

Keywords

  • Research area: Ecosystem Based Marine Management
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ID: 2285446