Thomas Frater

Doctor of Philosophy, (Science)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Energy in New Zealand apple production

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The sustainability of New Zealand primary production has come under close scrutiny in recent years, particularly since the emergence of the global climate change debate. Mr. Frater examined the energy content of New Zealand apple production and calculated associated sustainability indicators. Global food supply chains impinge on a broad range of scientific, social and ethical issues. A principle methodology for investigating the sustainability of food production is the life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. Mr. Frater investigated the extent to which normative presuppositions underpin the LCA methodology, and argued that an LCA investigation constitutes a form of intervention. He proposed a refinement of the LCA approach for studying global food supply systems that would take greater account of the normative presuppositions (such as ethical and moral boundary judgements) of researchers conducting such investigations, and recognise tacit knowledge imbedded in the methodology itself.

Professor Don Cleland
Professor John Mawson
Professor Ralph Sims
Professor Julian Heyes