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Improving Energy Efficiency in the Agro-food Chain

image of Improving Energy Efficiency in the Agro-food Chain

For a variety of reasons, energy use in the agro-food sector continues to rise, and in many countries, is highly dependent on fossil fuels, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore becoming urgent to consider how the food supply chain can improve its energy efficiency. This report analyses ways of improving energy use in the agro-food sector in relation to both producers and consumers, and puts forward a set of policy recommendations that governments can introduce to meet green growth objectives and achieve sustainable development.

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Why does energy efficiency in the agro-food chain matter?

Energy is crucial for economic growth and a critical component in the ability of the agro-food sector to improve productivity, competitiveness and sustainability. Improving the efficiency of energy use – using less energy to provide the same level of output and service – is an important tool that policy makers can use to ensure a number of positive outcomes that can deliver several government priorities, from economic growth to greenhouse gas reduction to energy security and food security. To set the scene this Chapter discusses the increasing demands for energy throughout the food chain. The synergy and overlapping policy goals between energy efficiency, food waste and GHG emissions mitigation agendas are noted, and conceptual and methodological issues involved in measuring energy use and efficiency are highlighted.

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