Sustainability assessment is one of the keys to competition by food supply chains over sustainability. The way it is conceived and embodied into decision-makers’ choices affects the competitiveness of local and global chains. Science-based assessment methodologies have made substantial progress, but uncertainties—as well as interests at stake—are high. There are no science-based methods that are able to give an unchallenged verdict over the sustainability performance of a firm, let alone a supply chain. Assessment methods are more suited for medium-large firm dimensions, as planning, monitoring, and reporting are costly. Moreover, the availability of data affects the choice of parameters to be measured, and many claims of local food are not easily measurable. To give local chains a chance to operate on a level playing field, there is the need to re-think sustainability assessment processes and tailor them to the characteristics of the analysed supply chains. We indicate seven key points on which we think scholars should focus their attention when dealing with food supply chain sustainability assessment.
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