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Carbon footprint of the agricultural production of the certified tea bud in Argentina
In recent years, demands for the sustainability of agriculture have grown strongly. These demands generated the need to measure the carbon footprint as a tool to quantify the impact on global warming. In this paper, the agricultural production of certified tea in Argentina is calculated. The results obtained and the identification of the hotspots is a baseline that can be used to improve the environmental performance of the crop. The present study measures CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions from seed production, planting of the crop and annual production of the tea leaf placed in the industry. The data were taken from eight producers from five different certification groups between the years 2013 and 2016. For the determination of the Carbon Footprints, the protocols of the standards ISO 14067, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 were used and the impacts were calculated using the CML model in the software Simapro® 8.0.2. The results of the carbon footprint wer estimated for five crop models: minimum, low, medium, high and maximum yield, being the results 122, 92, 90, 83 and 76 gr CO2e per kg of tea leaf. In terms of one kg of dry tea, the carbon footprint for the average level of yield is 405 gr, which is lower than the published cases of Darjeeling and Kenya teas. The main factors influencing the level of emissions are nitrogen fertilization, diesel consumption and transportation of the final product, which represent 70%, 8% and 7%, respectively. Further analysis should include the footprint of the different stages of industrialization and also the actual footprint of the production and use of fertilizers in Argentina, especially nitrogen, due to its high emissions.
Keywords: environment, fertilizer, leaf production, dry tea, Misiones.
1Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Estación Experimental Agropecuaria (EEA) Cerro Azul, Ruta Nacional 14, km 836,
(3313) Cerro Azul, Misiones. Correo electrónico: email@example.com