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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 319; doi:10.3390/su8040319

Sense and Non-Sense of Local–Global Food Chain Comparison, Empirical Evidence from Dutch and Italian Pork Case Studies

1
Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen 6708 PB, The Netherlands
2
CRPA, Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali, Reggio Emilia 43100, Italy
3
Department of Economics and Management, University of Firenze, Firenze 50127, Italy
4
Department of Economics, University of Parma, Parma 43100, Italy
5
Department of Food Science, University of Parma, Parma 43100, Italy
6
CLM, Centrum voor Landbouw en Milieu, Culemborg 4100 AB, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessio Cavicchi and Iain Gordon
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [722 KB, uploaded 31 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Priority setting between local versus global food chains continues to be subject of debate among food, rural and agricultural scholars with an interest in how to support more sustainable food provision and consumption patterns. Recently the FP7 European GLAMUR project targeted to assess and compare the performances of local versus global food chains in a systematic way covering multiple performance dimensions. Especially drawing on empirical research on the performances of three Italian and three Dutch pork chains, it will be argued that meaningful performance comparison needs to acknowledge the complex, multi-facetted and time and place specific interaction patterns between (more) global and (more) local pork chains. Therefore, as regards these pork chains, local–global performance comparison is thought to have hardly significance in isolation from complementary “horizontal” (place-based) and “circular” (waste or by-product valorization oriented) assessments. As will be concluded, this methodological complexity of food chain performance comparison doesn’t allow for simple statements regarding the pros and cons of (more) global versus (more) local pork chains. Hence, it is recommended to avoid such less fruitful local–global dichotomy and to concentrate on more policy relevant questions as: how to facilitate fundamentally different resource-use-efficiency strategies and how to optimize the place-specific interaction between more “local” versus more “global” food systems? View Full-Text
Keywords: food chains; global; local; performance assessments; life-cycle analysis; sustainability strategies; pork production food chains; global; local; performance assessments; life-cycle analysis; sustainability strategies; pork production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oostindie, H.; van Broekhuizen, R.; de Roest, K.; Belletti, G.; Arfini, F.; Menozzi, D.; Hees, E. Sense and Non-Sense of Local–Global Food Chain Comparison, Empirical Evidence from Dutch and Italian Pork Case Studies. Sustainability 2016, 8, 319.

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