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Open AccessArticle

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

AMA 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(7):616. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070616

Chicago/Turabian Style

Berti, Giaime; Mulligan, Catherine. 2016. "Competitiveness of Small Farms and Innovative Food Supply Chains: The Role of Food Hubs in Creating Sustainable Regional and Local Food Systems" Sustainability 8, no. 7: 616. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070616

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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