Special Issue "A Trap or a New Opportunity? The Role of Consumers in Transitioning to Agrifood Supply Chains Based on a Circular Economy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Luigi Cembalo
Guest Editor
Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Naples Federico II (ITA), Naples, Italy
Interests: circular economy; agricultural economics; innovation management in agrifood systems
Dr. Massimiliano Borrello
Guest Editor
Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Naples Federico II (ITA), Naples, Italy
Interests: circular economy; sustainable resource economics; consumer studies

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Over the last few years, the idea that efforts should be made for the transition into a circular economy (CE) has gained momentum. CE proposes a future in which the negative environmental impacts of economic activities will be significantly reduced through the transformation of waste into biological and technical “nutrients” that (ideally) circulate within infinite loops.

Renewed circular industrial systems would call upon private citizens to adopt an active and participative role within value chains. Particularly, in the CE, new relationships between consumers and companies are expected to develop based on novel types of networks and products delivered as services, agreements, and shared activities. On the one hand, this would lead to new symbolic meanings associated with consumption, including ideas of community, social interaction and commitment, embeddedness with nature, and rebellion against mainstream consumption. On the other hand, issues of trust, risk, information, as well as internal factors concerning the domestic sphere (e.g., the restructuring of household routines), arise for consumers engaged in circular supply chain relationships.

This Special Issue welcomes papers focused on the role of consumers for a potential transition into CE in the agrifood sector—a domain in which CE investigation is struggling to emerge. Contributions from disparate disciplines and theoretical approaches are accepted. Of particular interest are works critically considering the role of eco-effectiveness, upcycling, and business model design. The papers must show originality and give a significant contribution to the scope of the Special Issue.

Prof. Luigi Cembalo
Dr. Massimiliano Borrello
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • circular economy
  • consumers
  • circular business models
  • consumption practices
  • consumer embeddedness

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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