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CLFP Provides Tours for Lawrence Berkeley Lab Team Developing Benchmarks

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In February, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) executed a contract with the Dutch consulting firm Ecofys Consultancy (Ecofys). Ecofys consults on renewable energy, energy and carbon efficiency, energy systems and markets and energy and climate policy. They were the company tasked with the development of benchmarks developed for the cap-and-trade market under the European Trading Scheme (ETS). Lawrence Berkeley Labs (LBL), per agreement with Ecofys, has been assigned the duties of developing a product-based benchmark for the food processing industry in California.

Once LBL had been assigned the food processing industry, the California League of Food Processors (CLFP) initiated a series of meetings to begin the process of determining what the CARB requirements would be concerning the development of the benchmark. Team leader Eric Masanet indicated that the food processing industry has been divided into general sectors with individuals assigned to study a sector or sectors. The main categories include fruit and vegetable processing, dairy, dehydrated/dried produce, meat and poultry, breweries, sugar and olives.

In a July meeting with LBL, CLFP informed the team that we had already engaged in the development of a product-based benchmark. However, prior to releasing our work product methodologies, the LBL team was offered tours designed to highlight the variability among the processors and the process operations involved in paste production and canning.

Tours conducted over the last few weeks have included the J.G. Boswell facility in Corcoran, Pacific Coast Producers' plant in  Woodland, and the Liberty Packing Company plant in Los Banos. The plants were chosen to provide the LBL team the opportunity to view single and multiple product processes.

The LBL team is in the final "learning" stages of the process and is about to begin the process of developing broad outlines on future benchmark methodologies. Craig Arnold, the LBL team member assigned fruit and vegetable processing, expects to have a general outline available for distribution to covered entities within the next few weeks with CARB approval. LBL will be looking to facilities to provide data necessary for the development of the product-based benchmark.

CARB has given LBL a deadline of December 2012 to try and complete the benchmarks.


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