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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 344; doi:10.3390/su8040344

Sustainability of Global and Local Food Value Chains: An Empirical Comparison of Peruvian and Belgian Asparagus

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Division of Bioeconomics, Celestijnenlaan 200 E, Leuven 3001, Belgium
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Academic Editor: Gianluca Brunori
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 1 April 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
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Abstract

The sustainability of food value chains is an increasing concern for consumers, food companies and policy-makers. Global food chains are often perceived to be less sustainable than local food chains. Yet, thorough food chain analyses and comparisons of different food chains across sustainability dimensions are rare. In this article we analyze the local Belgian and global Peruvian asparagus value chains and explore their sustainability performance. A range of indicators linked to environmental, economic and social impacts is calculated to analyze the contribution of the supply chains to economic development, resource use, labor relations, distribution of added value and governance issues. Our findings suggest that none of the two supply chains performs invariably better and that there are trade-offs among and between sustainability dimensions. Whereas the global chain uses water and other inputs more intensively and generates more employment per unit of land and higher yields, the local chain generates more revenue per unit of land. View Full-Text
Keywords: local food value chains; global food value chains; food trade; asparagus; sustainability local food value chains; global food value chains; food trade; asparagus; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarz, J.; Schuster, M.; Annaert, B.; Maertens, M.; Mathijs, E. Sustainability of Global and Local Food Value Chains: An Empirical Comparison of Peruvian and Belgian Asparagus. Sustainability 2016, 8, 344.

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