The European Union (EU) intends to introduce an environmental product declaration for agricultural products. This raises the question of the extent to which the various methodological guidelines are suitable for this purpose from the Swiss perspective. Together with Koch Consulting and on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Agroscope has therefore made a comparison of the relevant guidelines. On this basis, the most important effects of the various methodological recommendations on the environmental product declarations for agricultural products were analysed. The study concludes that the existing PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) and ENVIFOOD (Environmental Assessment of Food and Drink) document make a valuable contribution to the harmonisation of the environmental product declaration for agricultural products; however, the documents examined do not yet ensure that comparable results are achieved when different users (e.g. Food producer A and Food producer B) avail themselves of the methodological guidelines in order to illustrate the environmental impacts for an identical product. What’s more, the two categories of biodiversity and soil quality are not dealt with in a satisfactory manner.
Gilgen A., Felder R., Baumgartner S., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Séchaud R., Paunovic S., Merbold L.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Soil samples can be measured directly in the field by means of spectroscopy. Agroscope researchers have tested mobile devices and shown how to make the best use of them.