Technological watch

Carbon Footprint of the Pork Product Chain and Recent Advancements in Mitigation Strategies

The carbon footprint of pork production is a pressing concern due to the industry’s significant greenhouse gas emissions. It is crucial to achieve low-carbon development and carbon neutrality in pork production. Thus, this paper reviewed the recent studies about various sources of carbon emissions throughout the current pork production chain; feed production, processing, and manure management are the major sources of carbon emissions. The carbon footprint of the pork production chain varies from 0.6 to 6.75 kg CO2e·kg−1 pig live weight, and the carbon footprint of 1 kg of pork cuts is equivalent to 2.25 to 4.52 kg CO2e. A large reduction in carbon emissions could be achieved simultaneously if combining strategies of reducing transportation distances, optimizing farmland management, minimizing chemical fertilizer usage, promoting organic farming, increasing renewable energy adoption, and improving production efficiency. In summary, these mitigation strategies could effectively decrease carbon emissions by 6.5% to 50% in each sector. Therefore, a proper combination of mitigation strategies is essential to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing pork supply.

Publication date: 22/11/2023

Author: Pan Yang

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods12234203

MDPI (foods)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.