Low-carbon production is one of the dominating issues in the sustainable development of the food industry with high energy consumption, especially in the table grapes cold chain. The aim of this paper is to propose a profit maximization strategy of table grapes cold chain by integrating the carbon footprint to improve the low-carbon production and sustainability of the cold chain system. The carbon footprint was evaluated by life cycle assessment (LCA) in entire cold chain system of table grapes, and the economic order quantity (EOQ) model was used to develop the profit maximization model with minimal carbon footprint and to maintain the optimal balance between stock and cost. The profit optimization performance, the sensitivity performance and the influencing factors of the decay rate, the carbon emission price, and the distance and carbon emission coefficient in refrigerated transport were analyzed according to the profit maximization model and the inventory data in actual cold chain investigated. The sensitivity performance analysis illustrated that the selling price had the highest sensitivity, and the carbon emission coefficient in storage had the lowest sensitivity. The comprehensive analysis results indicated that there is an optimal combination point between the economy and environment in actual cold chain, which not only reduced the carbon emission, but also had minimal impact on the profit in cold chain. The enterprises should integrate the carbon footprint cost into the profit maximization once the carbon emission tax is levied. The proposed strategy of the profit maximization with carbon footprint constraint is also suitable for improving profit maximization of other low-carbon supply chain applications.
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