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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1253;

Collaboration for Sustainability in the Food Supply Chain: A Multi-Stage Study in Italy

Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4, 20156 Milan, Italy
Facultad de Posgrados, Universidad de las Américas, Av. José Queri entre Av. Granados y Av. Eloy Alfaro, 170122 Quito, Ecuador
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability collaboration; sustainable supply chain; food supply chain sustainability collaboration; sustainable supply chain; food supply chain

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León-Bravo, V.; Caniato, F.; Caridi, M.; Johnsen, T. Collaboration for Sustainability in the Food Supply Chain: A Multi-Stage Study in Italy. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1253.

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