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Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 616; doi:10.3390/su8070616

Competitiveness of Small Farms and Innovative Food Supply Chains: The Role of Food Hubs in Creating Sustainable Regional and Local Food Systems

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, Imperial College Business School, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [309 KB, uploaded 6 July 2016]

Abstract

Over the last decades, the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the conventional agri-food system has and continues to be contested within both academic and public institutions. For small farms, the unsustainability of the food system is even more serious; farms’ declining share of profit and the cost-price squeeze of commodity production has increased barriers to market access with the inevitable effect of agricultural abandonment. One way forward to respond to the existing conventional agri-food systems and to create a competitive or survival strategy for small family farms is the re-construction of regional and local agri-food systems, aligning with Kramer and Porter’s concept of shared value strategy. Through a critical literature review, this paper presents “regional and local food hubs” as innovative organizational arrangements capable of bridging structural holes in the agri-food markets between small producers and the consumers—individuals and families as well as big buyers. Food hubs respond to a supply chain (or supply network) organizational strategy aiming at re-territorialising the agri-food systems through the construction of what in the economic literature are defined as values-based food supply chains. View Full-Text
Keywords: food hubs; nested market; alternative agri-food networks; short food supply chains; values based food supply chains; local food systems; small farm competitiveness; food system sustainability food hubs; nested market; alternative agri-food networks; short food supply chains; values based food supply chains; local food systems; small farm competitiveness; food system 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

Berti, G.; Mulligan, C. Competitiveness of Small Farms and Innovative Food Supply Chains: The Role of Food Hubs in Creating Sustainable Regional and Local Food Systems. Sustainability 2016, 8, 616.

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