Data about food
AGRIBALYSE® provides reference data on 2,500 food products consumed in France (including imported products).
The same ingredients and the same categories of food are found in the AGRIBALYSE® database - Food section - as in the nutritional database CIQUAL® managed by ANSES.
This construction allows users to carry out cross-analyzes on environmental and nutritional issues (comparison by dishes, menus or recipes). Users can find, for the same product, the nutritional composition of this product in the CIQUAL® database, and its environmental footprint in the AGRIBALYSE® database.
The data that will be provided in the simplified version of AGRIBALYSE® - Food section - represents the indicators calculated for "medium standard" products consumed in France. You will thus find, for example, the impact of a “standard” Margherita pizza, made up of conventional standard tomatoes, standard Gruyère cheese and standard conventional ham, from the majority production systems today, and packaged with the main material observed for this type of product (i.e. cardboard for pizza).
In order to take into account imported raw materials used in the manufacture of food products, "consumption mixes" were calculated. For example, the impacts of the “conventional standard tomato” used in pizza represent the weighted average of the impacts of tomatoes mainly used for processed products in France (ie 18% of tomatoes from French production, 46% of Italian tomatoes and 36% Spanish tomatoes).
The analysis of the food value chains for all the food consumed in metropolitan France represents a considerable scientific challenge, due to its scope and the complexity of the production, processing and distribution systems, on a globalized market. Therefore, the calculations needed to rely on a large amount of statistical data, supplemented by hypotheses and expert statements. Approximations and simplifications had to be made and are documented in the methodological report. The construction of hypotheses has always been carried out in the most "systematic" way possible in order to avoid bias, and by concentrating efforts on the most impactful structuring parameters. Thus, a particular effort was made on the agricultural stage, which represents the greatest impact phase for a majority of products, while the phases of transformation, logistics, packaging and use have been simplified.
The database contains a single set of environmental indicators for each of the 2,500 food products. No variant is provided for each of these products. The data do not allow comparison of food products of the same category (e.g. two yogurts from competing brands or an organic hamburger versus a conventional hamburger).
These data therefore reflect an “average” reality which allows the comparison of food products of different categories, but not the comparison of identical products from different production methods.
In the same way, there will be no variations depending on the season or the origin of the products. This is why it is advisable to consider these data as a first realization which has vocation to be enriched.
A few exceptions exist:
- two variations are provided for tomatoes and strawberries to distinguish seasonal and off-season products;
- the mangoes are the subject of a variation to distinguish the mode of transport: imported by plane and not by boat (at this stage, the exercise was not carried out on other products).
To guide users of the data, details of the impacts for each of the 2,500 products will also be provided :
- by major stage: agricultural production, transport, packaging, distribution and use ;
- and, for compound products, by ingredients.