Exploring more sustainable technological alternatives for the greenhouse cut flowers industry in Colombia
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Colombia is the second-largest exporter of flowers in the world. The major production hub is placed around the capital city, Bogota. Approximately 7266 ha are devoted to production of ornamental species under greenhouse conditions, the most important being roses (Rosa spp.) and carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus). Concern about the environmental performance of the industry is growing among the international market. The aim of this work was to explore technological alternatives to reduce the environmental impact exerted by the supply chain (production, marketing and consumption) of cut roses under greenhouse but at the same time looking for a production model that improves actual yields. The Life Cycle Assessment method was used to evaluate the environmental performance of the actual production system as well as a proposed technological alternative. The supply chain was divided into three stages: 1. cropping system including infrastructure, pest management, fertilization, harvest and residues; 2. postharvest including grading, packaging and storage and, 3. transportation to markets in the United States. The number of rose stems produced per square meter of soil was defined as the functional unit. Addition of a heating system to the actual cropping system in order to increase yields and reduce pest incidence was considered. Previous studies have shown that transportation of the flowers by aircraft imposes the major environmental impact by the product. Alternative transportation by ship is discussed in the present study. Results indicated the feasibility of including heating systems actual production schemes due to increase in energy use efficiency. In the overall impact assessment, this alternative will reduce the environmental impact of the actual cropping system. This study demonstrated that technological improvements to the supply chain can result in environmental benefits in order to preserve the competitiveness of the flower industry in Colombia.
Link to resourcehttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/287230830_Exploring_more_sustainable_technological_alternatives_for_the_greenhouse_cut_flowers_industry_in_Colombia
- Año 2011 
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