Energy efficient and green cold chain
The population is growing at an astonishing rate and is expected to hit 2.3 billion people by the year 2050, and according to the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO), 85% of this population will be living in developing countries. In order to feed this many people, food production has to increase by at least 70%, which puts agricultural activities under enormous pressure. To avoid irreversible damage to the environment and to ensure maximum agricultural efficiency, minimizing post-harvest losses is critical.
One way of doing this is through the establishment of a consistent and efficient cold chain. A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain that operates from farm to table and ensures that the proper low temperature is maintained the entire time. Setting up extensive and reliable cold chains plays a major role in reducing post-harvest losses worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia Pacific. But refrigeration has also its drawbacks, through a direct impact on global warming through the emission of refrigerants and an indirect impact through energy consumption. The refrigeration sector, which also includes air conditioning, is currently responsible for around 17% of global electricity consumption. For some developing countries, this percentage even exceeds 40 percent of total national electricity demand. In order to reduce the impact on the environment, it is vital to improve the energy efficiency of the refrigeration systems and to adopt refrigerants, such as natural refrigerants, that have zero or low climate impact. This minimizes the any negative environmental damages while ensuring that food production is operating efficiently with minimal food losses.
For more information, please read our leaflet: Cold Chain Helps Feed the Planet.