Geographic Energy Adaptive Potential of Farmers' Market System as Compared to the Conventional Supermarkets System
Geographic energy adaptive potential is a quantitative assessment of the capacity of the supply chain system to deliver the same goods using less energy. Issues of oil supply and carbon emissions motivate the study of the energy adaptive potential of the Farmers’ market and supermarket food distribution systems. Three key indicators are used to measure the adaptive potential of the system, 1) systems’ fuel intensity and traceability of products in the supply chain, 2) potential for freight consolidation, 3) access to stores by potential customers. A method is presented to compute the freight energy intensity using information on product origins, number and type of delivery vehicles and amount of goods delivered. A hypothetical freight logistical consolidation model is created to determine potential energy savings. Access to Farmers’ markets and supermarkets by customers is calculated using Service Area analysis of ArcGIS10 and is a function of the geographic elements such as road network infrastructure and census information. The Farmers’ market system in the New Zealand setting was assessed using the three key indicators prescribed. Results of the survey conducted have shown that Farmers’ markets have higher freight energy-intensity than supermarkets. The energy intensity values for the latter were obtained using figures from government-commissioned reports. Consolidation of freight in the Farmers’ market could decrease the energy intensity. However given the current volumes of goods sold at the market, the Farmers’ market would still be more energy-intensive than supermarkets. There is also no difference between access of customers to Farmers’ markets and supermarkets.