VG08107 – Carbon Footprint part 6 – options

This report discusses the future opportunities for the Australian vegetable industry to reduce its carbon footprint.

The report is identifies practical methods which Australian vegetable growers can manipulate to minimise their carbon footprint and identifies potential R, D & E needs to assist vegetable growers implement these changes.

It has been written as part of a series of six discussion papers for a workshop that will set future directions for R, D & E on greenhouse gas emissions from the vegetable industry.

Nick O’Halloran Peter Fisher
Abdur Rab  

Options for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions for the Australian Vegetable Industry - September 2008
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Summary :

Currently there are efforts to quantify the carbon footprint of the Vegetable industry, however the focus must also turn to identifying actions available to minimises greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce the carbon footprint of the Vegetable industry.

This report identifies considerable opportunity to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and thus improve the carbon footprint of the vegetable industry.

The first step is to identify where the major emissions are occurring, and which of these can practically and economically be changed.

Reducing upstream emissions involves growers exercising choice over the type of external inputs used in production.

Growers need to choose products with low embodied energy and emissions.

While this is difficult to determine at the moment, with increasing labelling regulation at all levels, identification of such products will become easier in the future.

Both the quantity of direct on-farm emissions and opportunities to reduce them will vary by farm, location, climate, crops grown, input sources, and markets sold to.

Inpidual farms need a system of auditing GHG emissions in order to identify where their particular contributions are coming from and what potential there is to mitigate.

Acknowledgments :

Funding was provided by Australian vegetable growers (through the R & D levy) and Horticulture Australia Limited. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.

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