Special Issue "Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chains: Advanced Engineering Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Riccardo Accorsi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: operations management; food industry; decision-support systems; logistics and operations; sustainable production and distribution systems; supply chain network design; perishables management; sustainable operations; optimisation; simulation
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Prof. Dr. Riccardo Manzini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: Full professor of Industrial Engineering, he teaches Logistics and Facility planning at the School of Engineering, University of Bologna. His research interests and expertise include the design, management, control, and optimization of complex production and logistics systems. The field of his research activity deals with storage and warehousing systems, logistics of perishable products, food supply chain, automation of production systems and Industry 4.0, maintenance engineering including predictive maintenance, physical distribution, packaging, and environmental sustainability. He is the founder and director of the Food Supply Chain Center (http://foodsupplychain.din.unibo.it/) and the Warehousing Center (http://warehousing.diem.unibo.it/index.html) at University of Bologna. He is the co-editor of the book Sustainable Food Supply Chains: Planning, Design, and Control through Interdisciplinary Methodologies published by Elsevier and has served as a guest editor for the International Journal of Production Economics and Sustainability.
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Dr. J. Rene Villalobos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Informatics, Computing and Decision Systems, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 878809,Tempe, AZ 85287-8809, USA
Interests: energy demand side management; energy system optimization; energy in manufacturing
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Dr. Marco Bortolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: Having graduated cum laude in Management Engineering in 2008 (Master’s Degree) at Alma Mater Studiorum—University of Bologna and in Industrial Engineering in 2013 (Ph.D. degree) at the University of Padua, Marco Bortolini is a Researcher at the Department of Industrial Engineering (DIN) of Bologna University, Italy. His scientific and research activity takes place within the topics of the scientific sector of “Industrial Systems Engineering” as it is nationally defined and deals with studies about the design, development, and management of industrial systems. Particularly, the research topics of specific interest include: Industry 4.0, enabling technologies, and their impact on production systems; supply chain management and green supply chain management; life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC); innovative approaches, methods, and models to spread the penetration of the renewables; and feasibility study, development and field-test of prototypal plants based on low carbon sources, including hybrid technologies.
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As we write these lines, climate change is massively altering the dynamics and biomechanisms behind natural ecosystems, which are collapsing under an increasing human pressure resulting in pollution of air, water, and soil and unsustainable exploitation of nonrenewable natural and abiotic resources. Meanwhile, the global population is growing exponentially, together with the need to feed it. The agrifood industry, so tied to climate and dependent on natural ecosystems, is growing and expanding too to fulfill such a need.

This growth, blindly driven by profit, makes the food supply chain (FSC) processes (i.e., from agricultural phases to pretreating, from food processing to packing, including storage, transportation, waste management, and byproduct valorization) prime contributors to natural systems contamination, greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, and to climate change.  

There is an urgent need to provide engineering solutions, tools, and technologies that support the strategic design, tactical planning, and operational control of agrifood supply chain processes toward their sustainability and resilience.

This Special Issue (SI), entitled “Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chains: Advanced Engineering Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation”, aims at collecting emerging models, methods, support-decision tools but also advanced technology able to incorporate environmental sustainability targets in the design and management and control of FSC ecosystems. Articles are expected to cover the entire chain from growers to consumers, using environmental and economic sustainability as the primary lenses of assessment. Whilst relevant papers focusing on quantitative predictive and prescriptive methodologies will be considered, preference will be given to those contributions able to provide empirical evidence and practical implications of the environmental benefits obtained in real-world food industry cases.

The authors of papers selected by the Scientific Committee of the 6th International Conference on Food and wine Supply Chain (8–11 June 2020, Bologna, Italy; https://eventi.unibo.it/6th-internationalconferencefoodsupplychain-bologna2020 ) will be encouraged to resubmit to this SI with a favorable publishing policy.

All papers will subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Dr. Riccardo Accorsi
Prof. Riccardo Manzini
Prof. Rene J. Villalobos
Dr. Marco Bortolini
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 1900 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.

Keywords

  • Land-use planning and agricultural systems design
  • Planning tools to aid penetration of renewables in FSC
  • Resources optimization and management in primary growing/farming
  • Remote sensing and machine learning in agriculture
  • Optimization in sustainable food supply chain operations management
  • Simulation techniques applied to agricultural, processing, conservation, and distribution phases
  • Emerging energy-effective technology in food processing
  • Food production scheduling and innovative facility/equipment design
  • Food packaging network design and management strategies
  • Climate-driven decision-making for food storage and distribution management
  • Low-carbon food logistics and distribution
  • Decision-support platform for low carbon FSC design and planning
  • Internet-of-Things in FSC management and control
  • Predictive and prescriptive methods in food safety/quality management
  • Zero-waste closed-loop chain planning and by-products valorization

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Objective Model for Sustainable Perishable Food Distribution Considering the Impact of Temperature on Vehicle Emissions and Product Shelf Life
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166668 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
The food distribution process is responsible for significant quality loss in perishable products. However, preserving quality is costly and consumes a tremendous amount of energy. To tackle the challenge of minimizing transportation costs and CO2 emissions while also maximizing product freshness, a [...] Read more.
The food distribution process is responsible for significant quality loss in perishable products. However, preserving quality is costly and consumes a tremendous amount of energy. To tackle the challenge of minimizing transportation costs and CO2 emissions while also maximizing product freshness, a novel multi-objective model is proposed. The model integrates a vehicle routing problem with temperature, shelf life, and energy consumption prediction models, thereby enhancing its accuracy. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II is adapted to solve the proposed model for the set of Solomon test data. The conflicting nature of these objectives and the sensitivity of the model to shelf life and shipping container temperature settings are analyzed. The results show that optimizing freshness objective degrade the cost and the emission objectives, and the distribution of perishable foods are sensible to the shelf life of the perishable foods and temperature settings inside the container. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The 3Ps (Profit, Planet, and People) of Sustainability amidst Climate Change: A South African Grape and Wine Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052910 - 08 Mar 2021
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Conventional agriculture has made the search for sustainability urgent, more so with regards to climate change. This has extended to the grape and wine industry, an important industry in South Africa in terms of labor employment and foreign exchange. This paper aims to [...] Read more.
Conventional agriculture has made the search for sustainability urgent, more so with regards to climate change. This has extended to the grape and wine industry, an important industry in South Africa in terms of labor employment and foreign exchange. This paper aims to review the current state of knowledge with regards to the three pillars of sustainability and with regards to climate change. In order to understand sustainability in South Africa, a historical context is needed, because the welfare of farm workers still retains vestiges of past Apartheid. Ecological responsibility and higher profits are the main reasons for sustainable practices. Additionally, water use, chemical use, and soil erosion are important environmental sustainability concerns. With regards to climate change, in terms of economic sustainability, there will be winners and losers and social sustainability issues will intensify as changes occur in farms. Table grape producers are relatively more profitable than wine grape producers. Furthermore, pest, disease, irrigation pressure will worsen as the climate warms. However, there are long- and short-term adaptation strategies such as changes in viticulture practices and grape cultivars, respectively, to stem the effects of climate change, but this may be stymied by cost and farmers’ perceptions of climate change. Full article
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