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Open AccessArticle

Short Food Supply Chains and Their Contributions to Sustainability: Participants’ Views and Perceptions from 12 European Cases

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SIFO Consumption Research Norway, Oslo Metropolitan University, 0130 Oslo, Norway
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Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SE, UK
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Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
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ECO-SENSUS Research and Communication Non-profit Ltd., 7100 Szekszárd, Hungary
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CESAER, AgroSup Dijon, INRA, University Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-21000 Dijon, France
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Faculty of Social Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Faculty of Economic Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Corvinus University of Budapest, 1093 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174800
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 3 September 2019
The present food system faces major challenges in terms of sustainable development along social, economic and environmental dimensions. These challenges are often associated with industrialised production processes and longer and less transparent distribution chains. Thus, closer distribution systems through Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) may be considered as a sustainable alternative. This study explores the role of different types of SFSCs and their contribution to sustainability through participants’ (consumers, retailers and producers) views and perceptions. As part of the European H2020 project “Strength2Food” we conducted a cross-case analysis and examined 12 European SFSC cases from six countries: France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland and the UK. We applied a mixed method approach including primary data collection, via in-depth interviews and customer surveys, as well as desk research. The findings suggest that, irrespective of the type of SFSC, a strong agreement among the participants were found on the contribution of SFSCs to social sustainability. However, participants’ views considerably differ regarding the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. These differences relate to the way the SFSCs were organised and to some degrees to regional differences attributed to the significance of SFSC in different parts of Europe. The article concludes that the spatial heterogeneity of SFSCs, including supply chain actor differences, different types and organisational forms of SFSCs as well as regional and territorial characteristics, must be taken into account and further emphasised in future policies aimed at strengthening European food chain sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: short food supply chain (SFSCs); sustainability; case study; Europe; food systems; local development; alternative food networks (AFN); farmers’ markets; box schemes; solidarity purchasing groups; local fish short food supply chain (SFSCs); sustainability; case study; Europe; food systems; local development; alternative food networks (AFN); farmers’ markets; box schemes; solidarity purchasing groups; local fish
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Vittersø, G.; Torjusen, H.; Laitala, K.; Tocco, B.; Biasini, B.; Csillag, P.; de Labarre, M.D.; Lecoeur, J.-L.; Maj, A.; Majewski, E.; Malak-Rawlikowska, A.; Menozzi, D.; Török, Á.; Wavresky, P. Short Food Supply Chains and Their Contributions to Sustainability: Participants’ Views and Perceptions from 12 European Cases. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4800.

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