In this project, we continue to develop the database that makes visible the impact of different foods on biodiversity, much like an equivalent to RISE's climate database for food.
Why is this important?
The link between climate and food production is well established, and there are several tools for consumers and decision-makers for example RISE food climate database. For other environmental impact categories and especially biodiversity, there is much less information on food level. We also believe that there are synergies and conflicts between climate and biodiversity for several food products, and by quantifying biodiversity impacts, these can be clarified in a more systematic way.
What will we do in the project?
This is a continuation project, where we further develop the RISE biodiversity database for food. The focus is on food consumed in Sweden, which includes both products from Swedish agriculture and imported food. Uses of the biodiversity database include: selecting foods and ingredients with a positive or low negative impact on biodiversity, finding biodiversity hotspots in the production chain, for consumer information, etc.
In the first version of the Biodiversity Database there are many foods, but some are still missing. Many animal products are missing, which is because a lot of manual work is required to determine feed ratios, feed origin and yields, slaughter weights, milk yield, etc. Especially organic animal products are missing in our database, as are fish and other seafood. In this continuation project we will add more food products.
There are several challenges
There are several methodological challenges when we calculate biodiversity at product level. Consider for example the product milk. Feed is grown on the farm and the animals graze, which can have both a positive and negative impact on biodiversity. Further, it is not uncommon for some of the feed to be imported from different parts of the world, and these effects must also be included. There are also several other inputs to the farm that affect biodiversity; electricity production, extraction of mineral fertilizers from mines, extraction of fossil fuels and so on. Use of pesticedes also effects biodiversity locally.
In the first version of the Biodiversity Database, we have focused on land use (arable land, pasture land and land for greenhouses). In this continuation project, we will include a larger part of the complex structure of the food system.
The project is led by RISE in collaboration with the retail company Coop and the meal service company Compass Group , which will assist with data collection and case studies using the database.