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Life cycle assessment in Brazilian agriculture facing worldwide trends

Ruviaro, Clandio F., Gianezini, Miguelangelo, Brandão, Fernanda S., Winck, César A., Dewes, Homero
Journal of cleaner production 2012 v.28 pp. 9-24
agribusiness, certification, environmental assessment, environmental impact, feeds, life cycle impact assessment, life cycle inventory, world markets, Brazil
Worldwide demand to set reliable environmental criteria for food and feed products has brought Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies to agribusiness. This paper describes the results of a search for scientific literature and government documents regarding the application of LCA to agricultural products worldwide, as a way to capture state-of-the-art technology in the field and to identify the trends and drivers for labeling and certification requirements in international markets. Considering the status of Brazilian agriculture, it would be necessary to adapt the LCA tools to the peculiarities of this country’s environmental and technological context, regarding the ability to follow current trends in the application of LCA as a tool for analysis of the environmental impact. In Brazil, any effort to develop specific methodologies for both Life Cycle Inventory and Life Cycle Impact Assessment is urgently needed for the country to remain among the leaders of food and feed exporters and would be appreciated by consumers worldwide.