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Special Issue "Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Riccardo Accorsi

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: decision-support tool to aid design and management of warehousing systems; management of storage efficiency and stock safety in perishable items warehouses; decision-support tool for multi-modal network design in sustainable closed-loop supply chains; closed-loop traceability and control of food supply chain over economic, environmental and safety perspectives; land-use planning and network building for sustainable agro-food supply chains; Land-use planning in rural-urban closed ecosystems
Guest Editor
Prof. Riccardo Manzini

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39-051-20-93-406
Fax: +39-051-20-93-411
Interests: analysis, planning, design and optimization of industrial plants and production systems (both manufacturing and food sectors); analysis, planning, design and optimization of production processes and technologies; ergonomics and safety in production systems; management of production systems; logistics and supply chain management; automation in production systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the next few decades, the global food demand will grow and stress food supply chains. The increasing relevance of processing, storage, and logistic activities within the food supply chain mandate a new systemic perspective for addressing sustainability. While these processes are typically tailored to reduce costs, their environmental and social sustainability are not accounted for. Therefore, reconciling economic growth of food supply chain ecosystems with environmental and social sustainability is mandatory for the future generation of politician, planners, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

This Special Issue is seeking original, unpublished papers that describe recent advances in various field of food industry and food supply chain ecosystems toward economic, environmental and social sustainability. The required target is to provide evidences of where and how quantitative models, methods and support-decision tools, as well as advanced technology, can aid the design and management of more sustainable food operations from-farm-to-fork, throughout cropping, processing and packaging, storage and distribution activities.   

This Special Issue invites timely and advanced research papers, but even case studies supported by multi-disciplinary quantitative approaches for an effective assessment of the as-is food operations and a pro-active re-design toward sustainability.

Dr. Riccardo Accorsi
Prof. Riccardo Manzini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • Sustainable food supply chain and food industry
  • Food packaging and logistics
  • Operations management in food supply chain
  • Optimization and simulation of food processes and operations
  • Perishable products management and cold chain
  • Life cycle assessment of food products and processes
  • Environmental and social sustainability in food operations
  • Traceability systems and food safety management
  • Automation in food industry 4.0
  • Digital twins in food processing
  • Food ecosystems design and virtualization
  • Food process virtualization
  • Big data and data analytics toward sustainability in food industry
  • Decision support systems for sustainable food operations
  • Case study and sustainable practices in food industry
  • Food security and food ecosystem planning

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Real-Time Monitoring System Using Smartphone-Based Sensors and NoSQL Database for Perishable Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2073; doi:10.3390/su9112073
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 5 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
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Abstract
Since customer attention is increasing due to growing customer health awareness, it is important for the perishable food supply chain to monitor food quality and safety. This study proposes a real-time monitoring system that utilizes smartphone-based sensors and a big data platform. Firstly,
[...] Read more.
Since customer attention is increasing due to growing customer health awareness, it is important for the perishable food supply chain to monitor food quality and safety. This study proposes a real-time monitoring system that utilizes smartphone-based sensors and a big data platform. Firstly, we develop a smartphone-based sensor to gather temperature, humidity, GPS, and image data. The IoT-generated sensor on the smartphone has characteristics such as a large amount of storage, an unstructured format, and continuous data generation. Thus, in this study, we propose an effective big data platform design to handle IoT-generated sensor data. Furthermore, the abnormal sensor data generated by failed sensors is called outliers and may arise in real cases. The proposed system utilizes outlier detection based on statistical and clustering approaches to filter out the outlier data. The proposed system was evaluated for system and gateway performance and tested on the kimchi supply chain in Korea. The results showed that the proposed system is capable of processing a massive input/output of sensor data efficiently when the number of sensors and clients increases. The current commercial smartphones are sufficiently capable of combining their normal operations with simultaneous performance as gateways for transmitting sensor data to the server. In addition, the outlier detection based on the 3-sigma and DBSCAN were used to successfully detect/classify outlier data as separate from normal sensor data. This study is expected to help those who are responsible for developing the real-time monitoring system and implementing critical strategies related to the perishable supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Designing Sustainable Cold Chains for Long-Range Food Distribution: Energy-Effective Corridors on the Silk Road Belt
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2044; doi:10.3390/su9112044
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
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Abstract
Modern food production-distribution processes represent a critical stressor for the environment and for natural ecosystems. The rising flows of food across growing and consumption areas couple with the higher expectations of consumers for the quality of products and compel the intensive use of
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Modern food production-distribution processes represent a critical stressor for the environment and for natural ecosystems. The rising flows of food across growing and consumption areas couple with the higher expectations of consumers for the quality of products and compel the intensive use of refrigerated rooms and transport means throughout the food supply chain. In order to aid the design of sustainable cold chains that incorporate such aspects, this paper proposes a mixed integer linear programming model to minimize the total energy consumption associated with the cold operations experienced by perishable products. This model is intended for food traders, logistics practitioners, retail managers, and importers collaboratively called to design and plan a cost and environmentally effective supply strategy, physical channels, and infrastructures for cold chains. The proposed model is validated with a case study inspired by the distribution of two example food products, namely fresh apples and ice cream, along the New Silk Road connecting Europe and China. The illustrated analysis investigates the effect of alternative routes and transport modes on the sustainability of the cold chain. It is found that the most energy-efficient route for ice cream is via rail over a northern route and, for apples, is via a southern maritime route, and, for these two routes, the ratios of the total energy consumed to the energy content of the food are 760 and 913, respectively. By incorporating the energy lost due to the food quality decay, the model identifies the optimal route to adopt in accordance with the shelf life and the conservation temperature of each product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Design, Prototyping, and Assessment of a Wastewater Closed-Loop Recovery and Purification System
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1938; doi:10.3390/su9111938
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Efforts to decrease the water use within industry are mandatory to pursue product and process sustainability. Particularly, the European Union (EU) is at the top level for water consumption in industry, while some sectors, such as the food and beverage (F&B), are highly
[...] Read more.
Efforts to decrease the water use within industry are mandatory to pursue product and process sustainability. Particularly, the European Union (EU) is at the top level for water consumption in industry, while some sectors, such as the food and beverage (F&B), are highly water-intensive with hundreds of liters per hour of consumed and, then, drained water. This article provides a systematic overview of the most innovative insights coming from an EU Eco-Innovation project dealing with greening the F&B industry through the design, prototyping, technical, economic, and environmental assessment of a wastewater closed-loop recovery and purification system. The system, tailored for a standard mid-size F&B company using 2–3 billion L/year of raw water, collects, purifies and recirculates the key produced wastewater streams with an overall recovery efficiency of about 56%. The proposed purification technology comes from the most efficient combination of membrane-based filtration methods, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet modules. Evidence from the technical design, full-scale on-site technology prototyping, net-present-value (NPV) analysis and system life-cycle-assessment (LCA) are presented concluding about the convenience of adopting the proposed solution to reduce costs and impacts on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle The Second Life of Food: An Assessment of the Social Impact of Food Redistribution Activities in Emilia Romagna, Italy
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1817; doi:10.3390/su9101817
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
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Abstract
The increased relative poverty and migration crisis in Europe are determining a raise of food insecurity levels. Cities and regions are experiencing—and to some extent stimulating—a growth of food recovery initiatives. Food redistribution activities (FRAs) are acknowledged as a tool for addressing food
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The increased relative poverty and migration crisis in Europe are determining a raise of food insecurity levels. Cities and regions are experiencing—and to some extent stimulating—a growth of food recovery initiatives. Food redistribution activities (FRAs) are acknowledged as a tool for addressing food insecurity and preventing food surplus wastage ensuring economic, environmental, and social benefits. This paper aimed to identify the characteristics of FRAs and their social impact in the context of the Emilia Romagna region (Italy). A literature review and two experts’ consultations were carried out to inventory and categorize relevant social impacts. A questionnaire was then drafted and submitted to a sample of FRAs operating in the region. Results provided a profile of the surveyed food redistribution activities in terms of type of food redistributed, service provided, and workforce. In addition, the qualitative investigation allowed the identification of hotspots in terms of social, economic, psychological, health, and political impacts as perceived by engaged stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle The Green Supply Chain Design and Marketing Strategy for Perishable Food Based on Temperature Control
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1511; doi:10.3390/su9091511
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 6 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the intensification of global warming and the levy of energy tax, more industries are paying attention to energy saving and reduction of carbon footprint. For the food industry, energy cost in the supply chain of perishable food is quite high because of
[...] Read more.
With the intensification of global warming and the levy of energy tax, more industries are paying attention to energy saving and reduction of carbon footprint. For the food industry, energy cost in the supply chain of perishable food is quite high because of cold-chain transport and storage. Therefore, the efficacies of cold chain management and inventory control are the key factors that increase the efficiency of food supply chain and make it more ecological. This research analyzes the degradation process of perishable food and determines the optimal temperature of the cold chain as well as the optimal price to maximize the channel profit. We prove that there is an optimal price with a certain temperature and develop an efficient search algorithm to find the optimal temperature. We also perform sensitivity analyses to test which parameters affect the channel profit significantly. Numerical experiments are conducted to illustrate the proposed models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Open AccessArticle Comparing Food Provided and Wasted before and after Implementing Measures against Food Waste in Three Healthcare Food Service Facilities
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1409; doi:10.3390/su9081409
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to reduce food waste in a hospital, a hospital cafeteria, and a residential home by applying a participatory approach in which the employees were integrated into the process of developing and implementing measures. Initially, a process analysis
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The aim of the study was to reduce food waste in a hospital, a hospital cafeteria, and a residential home by applying a participatory approach in which the employees were integrated into the process of developing and implementing measures. Initially, a process analysis was undertaken to identify the processes and structures existing in each institution. This included a 2-week measurement of the quantities of food produced and wasted. After implementing the measures, a second measurement was conducted and the results of the two measurements were compared. The average waste rate in the residential home was significantly reduced from 21.4% to 13.4% and from 19.8% to 12.8% in the cafeteria. In the hospital, the average waste rate remained constant (25.6% and 26.3% during the reference and control measurements). However, quantities of average daily food provided and wasted per person in the hospital declined. Minimizing overproduction, i.e., aligning the quantity of meals produced to that required, is essential to reducing serving losses. Compliance of meal quality and quantity with customer expectations, needs, and preferences, i.e., the individualization of food supply, reduces plate waste. Moreover, establishing an efficient communication structure involving all actors along the food supply chain contributes to decreasing food waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle A New Dynamic Pricing Model for the Effective Sustainability of Perishable Product Life Cycle
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1330; doi:10.3390/su9081330
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
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Abstract
Perishable products run their life cycle in a short period of time due to the shortness of their shelf lives. Product efficiency falls when especially non-recyclable products are thrown away without being used. Furthermore, this kind of products that unnecessarily occupy shelves of
[...] Read more.
Perishable products run their life cycle in a short period of time due to the shortness of their shelf lives. Product efficiency falls when especially non-recyclable products are thrown away without being used. Furthermore, this kind of products that unnecessarily occupy shelves of supermarkets cause supermarkets to follow an insufficient stock management policy. Unconscious and unplanned use of our limited natural resources will deteriorate the product portfolio for future generations. Such unconscious production and consumption patterns will disrupt natural balance and damage sustainability of products. In addition to creating very high costs for producers, sellers and consumers alike, these unsold or stale products lead to environmental problems due to such pricing policies. In other words, although the products have to be thrown away without being sold is attributed by many managers to be attributable to the unplanned over-orders, the actual reason is something else. The real contributor of the problem is changing purchase attitudes of customers because of wrong pricing policies of wholesaler. In addition, limited resources are also consumed fast and in unnecessary amounts. The imbalance in respect to the sustainability of these products leads to increase in the production costs, procurement costs and failure to achieve balance among products to be kept in storage houses as some of the products occupy stocks unnecessarily. In the present study, a new pricing policy is developed for product stock whose shelf lives are about to expire and generally become waste to increase salability of these products in reference to fresher stocks of these products. The present study, which is designed to reduce the above-mentioned losses, will seek to minimize the cost of waste, maximize the profit earned by supermarkets from the product, maximize product utilization rates and ensure sustainability of products and stocks as well. Fulfillment of these objectives will increase productivity and enhance the significance of product efficiency and nature-friendly attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Collaboration for Sustainability in the Food Supply Chain: A Multi-Stage Study in Italy
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1253; doi:10.3390/su9071253
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
The objective of this study is twofold. Firstly, to analyze sustainability practices adopted in collaboration, including vertical collaboration i.e., with other actors or stages upstream or downstream in the supply chain, and horizontal collaboration i.e., with actors such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Secondly,
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The objective of this study is twofold. Firstly, to analyze sustainability practices adopted in collaboration, including vertical collaboration i.e., with other actors or stages upstream or downstream in the supply chain, and horizontal collaboration i.e., with actors such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Secondly, to identify the sustainability performance expected from sustainability practices implemented in different supply chain stages. The study reports on a set of case studies representing four different food supply chain (FSC) stages: breeding/growing, processing, distribution and retail. The findings indicate that each stage selects different collaboration schemes for sustainability practices’ implementation, prioritizing relations with upstream actors, namely grower/breeder, as these are key actors responsible for ensuring product quality and safety. In addition, the type of collaborative relationship is shown to be predominantly transactional for environmental and community practices, especially for solving specific short-term issues. Finally, varied areas of environmental and social sustainability performance are recognized, upstream and downstream, as a result of collaborative practices applied in different FSC stages, showing the diverse sustainability objectives pursued along the chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Achieving Sustainability beyond Zero Waste: A Case Study from a College Football Stadium
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1236; doi:10.3390/su9071236
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Collegiate sporting venues have been leading efforts toward zero-waste events in pursuit of more sustainable operations. This study audited the landfill-destined waste generated at the University of Missouri (MU) football stadium in 2014 and evaluated the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy
[...] Read more.
Collegiate sporting venues have been leading efforts toward zero-waste events in pursuit of more sustainable operations. This study audited the landfill-destined waste generated at the University of Missouri (MU) football stadium in 2014 and evaluated the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy use associated with waste management options, including options that do and do not comply with zero-waste definitions. An estimated 47.3 metric tons (mt) of waste was generated, the majority (29.6 mt waste) came from off-site, pre-game food preparation activities; of which over 96 percent (%) was pre-consumer and un-sold food waste. The remaining 17.7 mt originated from inside the stadium; recyclable materials accounting for 43%, followed by food waste, 24%. Eleven waste management strategies were evaluated using the Waste Reduction Model (WARM). Results indicate that scenarios achieving zero waste compliance are not necessarily the most effective means of reducing GHG emissions or energy use. The two most effective approaches are eliminating edible food waste and recycling. Source reduction of edible food reduced GHGs by 103.1 mt (carbon dioxide equivalents) CO2e and generated energy savings of 448.5 GJ compared to the baseline. Perfect recycling would result in a reduction of 25.4 mt CO2e and 243.7 GJ compared to the baseline. The primary challenges to achieving these reductions are the difficulties of predicting demand for food and influencing consumer behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Governance of Organic Food Production When Market Forecast Is Imprecise
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1020; doi:10.3390/su9061020
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
During the past few years, the market for organic food has been experiencing rapid growth. However, the market demand for organic food typically fluctuates due to its seasonal nature and customized characteristics, and it remains fairly difficult to precisely forecast market demand prior
[...] Read more.
During the past few years, the market for organic food has been experiencing rapid growth. However, the market demand for organic food typically fluctuates due to its seasonal nature and customized characteristics, and it remains fairly difficult to precisely forecast market demand prior to the selling season. Forecast bias usually creates inefficiency in an organic food producer’s production plan and results in a substantial amount of waste. Thus, this paper studies how much an organic food producer is likely to lose with a certain level of forecast bias and investigates whether forecast bias necessarily results in an improper production plan. Finally, we calculate the maximum potential profit loss rate when the organic food producer determines how much to produce based on his forecasted demand, which we believe will be instructive for organic food producers in making production decisions. The target problem is formulated by a newsvendor model and solved using a tolerant analysis approach. We find that an organic food producer can still find the optimal solution only if his forecast bias is under a certain threshold. However, if the organic food producer’s forecast bias is beyond the threshold, he will probably make a sub-optimal production decision and potentially experience a profit loss. Subsequently, we analytically calculate an organic producer’s maximum potential profit loss rate for any given level of forecast bias. Examples are employed to numerically illustrate the main findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Traceability in the Food Supply Chain: The Impact of Consumer Willingness to Pay
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 999; doi:10.3390/su9060999
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
This article addresses the sustainable traceability issue in the food supply chain from the sourcing perspective in which consumer willingness to pay for traceability is considered. There are two supplier types: traceable suppliers, which are costly but can carry a precise recall in
[...] Read more.
This article addresses the sustainable traceability issue in the food supply chain from the sourcing perspective in which consumer willingness to pay for traceability is considered. There are two supplier types: traceable suppliers, which are costly but can carry a precise recall in food safety events, and non-traceable suppliers, which are less expensive but may suffer a higher cost in food safety events. A portion of consumers display traceability consciousness, and are willing to pay a premium for traceable food products. Four possible strategies in a transparent food supply chain and three sourcing strategies in a nontransparent food supply chain are identified and we determine when each strategy is optimal. We show that efforts to improve traceability that focus on consumers, by increasing their willingness to pay for traceability or expanding the portion of traceability consciousness consumers, may lead to an unintended consequence, such as a decrease in the provision of traceable food products. However, efforts that focus on revealing and penalizing the buyer always lead to a higher provision of traceable food products. We further find that efforts focusing on eliminating the information asymmetry may not be helpful for sustainable traceability in the food supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Dynamics of Responses to Food Production Shocks
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 960; doi:10.3390/su9060960
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
Food production shocks can lead to food crises where access to appropriate quantities and quality of food become inadequate, unaffordable, or unreliable on a major scale. While the physical causes of food production shocks are well researched, the dynamics of responses to them
[...] Read more.
Food production shocks can lead to food crises where access to appropriate quantities and quality of food become inadequate, unaffordable, or unreliable on a major scale. While the physical causes of food production shocks are well researched, the dynamics of responses to them are less well understood. This paper reviews those dynamics and includes evidence gathered via interviews of 44 expert practitioners sourced globally from academia, government, industry, think-tanks, and development/relief organizations. The paper confirms that policy interventions are often prioritised for national interests and poorly coordinated at regional and global scales. The paper acknowledges future compounding trends such as climate change and demographic shifts and suggests that while there are signs of incremental progress in better managing the impacts of shock events, coordinated responses at scale will require a paradigm shift involving major policy, market, and technological advancements, and a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Selection of a Sustainable Functional Pasta Enriched with Opuntia Using ELECTRE III Methodology
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 885; doi:10.3390/su9060885
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decade, the nutritional and health benefits of Opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) were discussed by academic scientists and private companies. In particular, the introduction of this substance in frequently consumed foods, like, for example, pasta and bakery products, could
[...] Read more.
In the last decade, the nutritional and health benefits of Opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) were discussed by academic scientists and private companies. In particular, the introduction of this substance in frequently consumed foods, like, for example, pasta and bakery products, could have a wide diffusion due to its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and amino acids. The identified natural cactus compounds are responsible for biologically relevant activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, and neuro-protective properties. The aim of this paper is the evaluation of the best combination of Opuntia quantity and process parameters (recipe) for the production of sustainable functional pasta. The results obtained show that the new functional pasta guarantees the presence of the Opuntia quantity necessary to be considered a healthy food without altering the organoleptic and physical properties of the final product. An important indicator of a sustainable food product is its capacity to contribute to public health while maintaining a high quality of the final product. The selection of the optimal recipe was carried out by means of a multi-criteria decision-making procedure, ELECTRE III. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the stability of the obtained solutions varying the ELECTRE III thresholds, showing that the results obtained are stable under uncertain conditions. Food productions are often affected by qualitative judgments in terms of physical and organoleptic properties of the final product, making the ELECTRE III particularly suitable in an industrial application in which different points of view are involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Analysis of a Traceability System for a Two-Level Perishable Food Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 682; doi:10.3390/su9050682
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
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Abstract
Food waste stemmed from food contamination and ineffective quality control is a significant challenge to food management. Supply chain traceability has become an essential task of the food industry for guaranteeing food quality and safety and reducing food waste. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
[...] Read more.
Food waste stemmed from food contamination and ineffective quality control is a significant challenge to food management. Supply chain traceability has become an essential task of the food industry for guaranteeing food quality and safety and reducing food waste. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has emerged as a lead technology in the development of traceability systems, which enable automatically capturing of food information along the supply chain. However, the significant investment cost has been a major obstacle in the diffusion of traceability systems in the food industry. This study conducts a cost-benefit analysis of a RFID-enabled traceability system for a two-level perishable food supply chain, which consists of an upstream supplier and a downstream retailer. Consumer perceptions of food quality and safety are jointly considered when evaluating the value of a traceability system. The optimal decisions of the supply chain participants are derived in both centralized and decentralized systems, in terms of wholesale price, order quantity, price markdowns, and granularity level of the traceability system. The results show that a dynamic pricing policy supported by the traceability system could significantly reduce food waste and improve the retailer’s performance. We further propose a two-part tariff contract to coordinate the supply chain and to distribute benefits and costs of the traceability system between supply chain participants. This study demonstrates that a well-developed traceability system could significantly improve the supply chain performance and become a profitable investment for the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Organic vs. Non-Organic Food Products: Credence and Price Competition
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 545; doi:10.3390/su9040545
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
We analyze the organic and non-organic production choices of two firms by considering customers’ trust in organic food products. In the context of customers’ possible willingness to pay a premium price and their mistrust in organic food products, two firms first make choices
[...] Read more.
We analyze the organic and non-organic production choices of two firms by considering customers’ trust in organic food products. In the context of customers’ possible willingness to pay a premium price and their mistrust in organic food products, two firms first make choices on offering organic and non-organic food products. If offering organic products, a firm can further invest in the credence system to increase customers’ trust in their organic products. At the final stage, two firms determine prices. We provide serval insights. First, we characterize the market conditions in which only one firm, both firms or neither firm will choose to offer organic food products. We find that the higher the production costs or credence investment costs for organic food products are, the more likely firms are to choose to produce non-organic food products. Second, if it is expensive enough to invest in organic credence, offering organic food products may still be uncompetitive, even if organic production cost appears to have no disadvantage compared to non-organic food products. Third, we highlight how the prices of organic food products in equilibrium are affected by market parameters. We show that when only one firm offers organic food products, this firm tends to offer a relatively low price if organic credence investment is expensive. Fourth, we highlight how one firm’s credence investment decision in equilibrium can be affected by the product type choice of the other firm. We find that the investment in organic credence is lower when both firms offer organic food products compared with the case when only one firm offers organic food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle A Participatory Approach to Minimizing Food Waste in the Food Industry—A Manual for Managers
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 66; doi:10.3390/su9010066
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
Based on their experiences gained in 15 companies in the catering sector and the bakery industry, the authors present a participatory concept to reduce food waste in the food industry. This five-phase concept, adapted to the PDCA (Plan–Do–Check–Act) cycle applied in the Total
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Based on their experiences gained in 15 companies in the catering sector and the bakery industry, the authors present a participatory concept to reduce food waste in the food industry. This five-phase concept, adapted to the PDCA (Plan–Do–Check–Act) cycle applied in the Total Quality Management, involves a participatory approach where employees are integrated into the process of developing and implementing measures to counteract food waste. The authors describe how the participatory approach can be used to raise awareness of the topic of food waste to improve employee commitment and responsibility. As a result, the authors further offer a Manual for Managers wishing to reduce food waste in their respective organizations. This manual includes information on the methodologies applied in each step of the improvement cycle. It also describes why the steps are necessary, and how results can be documented. The participatory concept and the Manual for Managers contribute to reducing food waste and to enhancing resource efficiency in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Processing, Valorization and Application of Bio-Waste Derived Compounds from Potato, Tomato, Olive and Cereals: A Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1492; doi:10.3390/su9081492
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract
The vast and ever-growing amount of agricultural and food wastes has become a major concern throughout the whole world. Therefore, strategies for their processing and value-added reuse are needed to enable a sustainable utilization of feedstocks and reduce the environmental burden. By-products of
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The vast and ever-growing amount of agricultural and food wastes has become a major concern throughout the whole world. Therefore, strategies for their processing and value-added reuse are needed to enable a sustainable utilization of feedstocks and reduce the environmental burden. By-products of potato, tomato, cereals and olive arise in significant amounts in European countries and are consequently of high relevance. Due to their composition with various beneficial ingredients, the waste products can be valorized by different techniques leading to economic and environmental advantages. This paper focuses on the waste generation during industrial processing of potato, tomato, cereals and olives within the European Union and reviews state-of-the-art technologies for their valorization. Furthermore, current applications, future perspectives and challenges are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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