If you’re a food researcher in France or an LCA researcher or someone with an inclination towards studying environmental impacts due to agriculture and food industry, the ‘Agribalyse on openLCA’ webinar, aired live on YouTube on 31st of July, 2020 and currently available on openLCA channel in YouTube, could provide you with valuable information. It presents the French database- Agribalyse 3.0 which was developed by ADEME and provides insights on working with openLCA.
In the following, we provide you a brief summary of the webinar:
Vincent from ADEME, introduces the Agribalyse database to the viewers by stating that the goal of Agribalye database is to promote Sustainable production and ecodesign and in addition, to also provide Eco-labelling and environmental communication for food products. The main contributors for this program are technical institutes, research team, consultancies, etc. Even though the database is essentially focused on France, Agribalyse is making efforts to collaborate with several international initiatives and databases such as Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) and ecoinvent. It’s stated in the webinar that it’s important for Agribalyse to connect with these databases and other LCA practitioners to be able to provide comprehensive data as food essentially is a worldwide market and to be able to provide the globalized data for the international users from other countries.
Agribalyse database consists primarily of agricultural data including nearly 2500 food products consumed in France, organic production and abundant data in the categories such as processing of the food, packaging and distribution were incorporated into the latest version, Agribalyse 3.0. It’s also in alignment with the French Nutritional database CIQUAL 2017 for performing Environmental as well as Nutritional analysis. It’s built as a transparent and well-structured database to update it with time and is built with pre-existing databases such as Acviya, World Food database (WFDB) and ecoinvent to maintain consistency with the methodologies and quality levels. It has undergone by deep review process by RIVM for initial data, GreenDelta for methodology and Data Quality Ratios (DQR) and Koch consulting to reviewing the final data. When contribution analysis is performed for each product, it’s possible to determine the contribution of each stage/ process involved and even the contribution of an ingredient to a process.
The methodology and related research work is available in the Agribalyse database website and is open for everyone to access. The nomenclature of Agribalyse in openLCA is structured in a ‘Russian doll’ model. It means for a product system, flows from previous process are aggregated into the current one until the last process to produce the product. The webinar also explains about the structure of the database, methodologies used in designing the consumption mixes & recipes and assumptions made in the processes such as packaging and transport. In addition to that, data regarding the retail and preparation at the consumer end was also included such as wastage during cooking and inedible losses. The Data Quality Ratios (DQR) are aligned with PEF standards and most of the database contains the data ranging from DQR 2 to 3. DQR 1 implies a very high-quality data and 5 as a low-quality data set. So, the data quality for the majority of the database is of good quality.
The webinar is then followed by presentation of a case study of how to perform LCA analysis of pizza production in the openLCA software. It is to provide an overview of how Agribalyse 3.0 database can be used to create a product system with the existing data such as the inventory of raw materials, recipe, distribution and transportation of the pizza, etc. Agribalyse database could be used in different context as it has much broader potential. The webinar could help the non-French users to make modifications in their modelling and methodology with respect to the agricultural conditions, processing of foods and other areas. With the flexibility to perform such changes in openLCA, it is possible for users worldwide to utilize the database for their study even though the database serves as a first approach to France and other European countries. It’s powerful in terms of altering any hypothesis and to create tools which would help restaurants and food sector to assess their recipes and operations.
There are also instructions provided to download the database from the openLCA’s Nexus website and to import the database & methods into openLCA software. It is then followed by Q&A session at the end.