Sustainability assessment in vineyards and olive groves

Both producers and consumers in the agro-food sector are more and more interested in monitoring the sustainability of food production, from the environmental, social and economic point of view. The possibility to compare the sustainability impact of different crop management decisions can be an useful contribution in the decision making. In fact, the impact of agricultural activities on the environment depends on the crop management operations applied in the field (i.e. fossil energy use, pesticides and fertilizers use, organic matter use, pollutants emissions in the natural environment), impacting on several aspects, such as air and water pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and landscape. Because of their diffusion and economical relevance, grapevine and olive are two main crops where management practices have a strong impact on the environment.

A set of sustainability indicators targeted to vineyard management practices were developed in the frame of the INNOVINE project, addressing six macro areas: Human Health, Air, Soil, Water, Energy and Biodiversity aspects. The indicators system was developed starting from a systematic literature review. Methods retrieved in the literature were analysed and selected based on the scientific relevance and their previous use in different contexts. In particular, simplicity

and need of few, easy to determine inputs were relevant criteria for the selection of indicators. Finally, a rating system was developed for each indicator and sub-indicator, ranging from 0 (no impact) to 5 (very high impact), in order to clearly display the performance for each of the indicators.

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