Production-phase greenhouse gas emissions arising from deliberate withdrawal and destruction of fresh fruit and vegetables under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
Sommaire de l'article
Since 1962 the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) has enabled payment of subsidy to some food producers for withdrawal of specific commodities – including fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) – where market prices have fallen below a pre-set level. These deliberate withdrawals have led to large amounts of usable food (~60% of withdrawals) being destroyed on farms across the EU. Such wasted food incurs a significant climate change cost through its production-phase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Here, we assess the magnitude of this FFV withdrawal and destruction, its spatial and temporal trends, and its associated GHG emissions between 1989 and 2015. We find the total mass of avoidable FFV losses occurring as a result of these EU CAP market interventions for this 26-year period to be 23.6Mt. The production-phase GHG emissions associated with the withdrawn FFV that was subsequently destroyed amount to 5.1Mt CO