Land Use in Food Supply Chains

New research published in Science (Poore & Nemecek, 2018) analyzes land use in food supply chains. An astounding 3.1 billion ha reduction in land use could be possible by excluding animal products from current diets. That is an area equivalent to Australia + China + European Union + United States. The author also shows that animal products use about 83% of the world’s farmland and contribute about 57% of food’s different emissions, despite providing only 18% of our calories. These findings demonstrate that we need to shift from “company thinking” to “supply chain thinking” if we want to see the full picture.Moving from current diets to a diet that excludes animal products has transformative potential, reducing food’s landuse by 3.1 billion ha (a 76% reduction) – an area equivalent to Australia, China, the European Union and the United States.

Poore, J. & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts through Producers and Consumers. Science, 360 (6392), 987–992. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq0216 (free download)

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Risk Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

One response to “Land Use in Food Supply Chains”

  1. Stefan says :

    … I recently spent my vacation in the alps – discussing with local farmers I learned that currently even more cattle should be send to mountain pastures. The number of cattle on mountain pastures and the extend of pastures was far bigger a couple of years ago. This trend leads to a change in a traditional landscape that was formed over hundreds of years of traditional framing. Mountain pastures are probably not statistically relevant but maybe this is an interesting aspect.

    Andreas I always enjoy your newsletter.

    BR
    Stefan

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