With greenhouse gas emissions increasing by anthropological activity, the need arises to transparently calculate and evaluate the carbon footprint of food production chains and their proposed alternatives. The feedprint tool allows users to calculate the chain of the on-farm production of animal products such as meat, eggs and milk.
FeedPrint supports the user by providing clear and sensible default values for the upstream crop growing parameters, that can be suitably modified for scenario studies. Predefined industrial processes are used to accommodate a selection from 400 different feed ingredients.
In the calculation of the upstream CO2 footprint, each ingredient present in a ration is followed as a principal unit, passing feed mill, industrial processes and transport stages towards a final crop of origin. Contributions to the greenhouse gas emissions along each stage are calculated using data sources such as EcoInvent and selected reports. Allocation of the greenhouse gas contributions along each stage is performed using known LCA standards or transparent methodologies described in this article. Default calculation pre-sets are based on practical situations that can be used to create scenarios to compare ingredient sources and growing conditions. These pre-sets can also be altered to allow more experienced users to calculate specific farm management scenarios.
As most parameters are stored in the form of a probability distribution, Monte Carlo simulation can be used to predict the bandwidth of the calculated carbon footprint of the end product and the individual chain stages. A sensitivity analysis of the latter can be performed to indicate the most promising areas for mitigation scenarios.