Coexma, one of the agricultural cooperatives of Mazarrón and with more history in the Region of Murcia, currently formed by a group of more than 30 producers, has led an innovative study of environmental sustainability in the agricultural sector with the support of the eFoodPrint company and the support of Bayer.
The objective of this study has been to calculate the two main indicators of environmental sustainability, water footprint (total volume of fresh water used to produce a product) and carbon footprint (CO2 emissions released to the atmosphere in the production phase ).
For the study, primary data from plots of the previous season, of Canarian tomato for export, both in conventional and organic cultivation were used.
The first thing to note is the volume of production that Coexma is able to obtain in analyzed organic farming plots, with only 15% less production than the conventional one.
This high ecological production capacity directly affects the results of water and carbon footprints, which stand out for their low impact on tomato Tn produced.
With the calculation of the carbon footprint Coexma has been able to know which are the processes that have the most impact on production and those that have less relevance.
Stresses of this particular study of environmental sustainability, the low impact of the use of phytosanitary products in the conventional crop and practically null in the ecological one.
Another of the evidences of this study is that the blue water footprint (the one related to irrigation water) and the green water footprint (related to rainwater) of both crops is very similar.
If there is a reduction in the gray water footprint (related to pollution by nitrates) in organic farming.
After knowing the impact of the production process of their tomatoes, Coexma aims to evaluate alternative practices in the production phases that have the greatest impact on the carbon footprint, with the objective of environmental sustainability of their productions.
As an example of this, Coexma starts an innovative improvement project with rawdata.es based on the use of virtual weather stations, to improve efficiency in water use and phytosanitary treatments.