Life cycle assessment in the food supply chain: a case study

David McCarthy, Aristides Matopoulos*, Philip Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


This research aims at assessing the environmental impact of the poultry supply chain from cradle to grave using case study research and also life cycle assessment (LCA). While a limited number of generic poultry production LCA studies have been published, fewer yet assess the whole process of a specific organisation, none comparing the increased impact of further processing. Our results show that irrespectively of the impact assessment method utilised, the process of producing portions is considerably higher in total environmental impact due to the extra raw material required to produce the same mass into retail. Our research contributes to the growing number of LCA studies and could be used by practitioners for comparison against national and international averages. From a theoretical point of view, this research provides new insights into the relationship between vertically integrated supply chains and environmental performance which has not been examined in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-154
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications on 03/02/15, available online:


  • cradle-to-grave
  • environmental impact
  • food supply chain
  • life cycle assessment
  • transport
  • vertical integration


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