During the last few years, Italian dairy farms, which gather, process and sell milk at the national level, have strengthened their leading market position at the detriment of dairy cooperatives, operating within regional borders. Moreover, decreasing milk prices and increasing production costs have recently induced many farmers to open automatic vending machines, dispensing raw milk for direct sale to local consumers. In order to contribute to the environmental assessment of alternative systems, this study estimated CO 2 emissions related to the transport from production farms to point of sale, for three brands of fresh milk currently sold in the Umbria region (Italy), starting from the food miles indicator as a simple concept, easily understood by consumers. These brands differ in the origin of milk (national, regional and local) and distribution channels (large-scale retail channels for national and regional brands and vending machines for the local one). Thus, we estimated the emissions generated by the transport of the fresh milk consumed by regional households. In agreement with previous studies about CO 2 emissions of foreign milk supply chains, the analysis showed that the production system of regional-branded milk, sold by retail channels, is the most efficient in terms of the environmental impact of transport.
Document type: Article
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