Global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the interconnectedness and vulnerability of human systems, requiring integrated transdisciplinary studies aimed at breaking unsustainable and unjust practices. In this work, a horticultural collaborative production system is addressed, inspired by the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model. In a highly industrialised area of Northern Italy, with significant wild land consumption, an alternative bottom-up experience is described for the provision of vegetables in a short and cooperative not-for-sale supply chain. Local organic farming and just labour conditions seek ecological sustainability and social equity beyond market dynamics. This CSA project contributes to the resilience of a territory currently affected by health and economic plights. Its claims, limits, and potentials of a project of this kind are investigated for the first time by means of the Emergy Assessment (EMA). The socio-ecological and economic inputs in the system at issue are identified and quantified, partly eased by the transparent process of the target community, and some key indicators are calculated. The new specific emergy values for the organic horticultural produce at hand are 3.15E+12 sej/kg (without labour and services), with organic manure as a leading input (37%) and 1.02E+13 sej/kg (with L&S), with labour as a leading input (38% paid, 8% voluntary) as key inputs; their calculation corrects underestimations present in some biased studies. This EMA provides fruitful insights of a single replicable and/or scalable project, thus offering current barrier and future opportunities for local improvement and exportability to crisis and post-crisis scenarios, and anyway for pursuing sustainability goals.

Organic vegetables from community-supported agriculture in Italy: emergy assessment and potential for sustainable, just, and resilient urban-rural local food production

Cristiano, Silvio
2021

Abstract

Global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the interconnectedness and vulnerability of human systems, requiring integrated transdisciplinary studies aimed at breaking unsustainable and unjust practices. In this work, a horticultural collaborative production system is addressed, inspired by the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model. In a highly industrialised area of Northern Italy, with significant wild land consumption, an alternative bottom-up experience is described for the provision of vegetables in a short and cooperative not-for-sale supply chain. Local organic farming and just labour conditions seek ecological sustainability and social equity beyond market dynamics. This CSA project contributes to the resilience of a territory currently affected by health and economic plights. Its claims, limits, and potentials of a project of this kind are investigated for the first time by means of the Emergy Assessment (EMA). The socio-ecological and economic inputs in the system at issue are identified and quantified, partly eased by the transparent process of the target community, and some key indicators are calculated. The new specific emergy values for the organic horticultural produce at hand are 3.15E+12 sej/kg (without labour and services), with organic manure as a leading input (37%) and 1.02E+13 sej/kg (with L&S), with labour as a leading input (38% paid, 8% voluntary) as key inputs; their calculation corrects underestimations present in some biased studies. This EMA provides fruitful insights of a single replicable and/or scalable project, thus offering current barrier and future opportunities for local improvement and exportability to crisis and post-crisis scenarios, and anyway for pursuing sustainability goals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3735235
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