Design of sustainable supply chains for the agrifood sector: a holistic research framework
Keywords:supply chain management, green supply chains, sustainable development, agrifood sector
Agrifood sector is one of the most important economic and political areas within the European Union, with key implications for sustainability such as the fulfillment of human needs, the support of employment and economic growth, and its impact on the natural environment. Growing environmental, social and ethical concerns and increased awareness of the impacts of the agrifood sector have led to increased pressure by all involved supply chain stakeholders, while at the same time the European Union has undertaken a number of relevant regulatory interventions. This paper aims to present a methodological framework for the design of green supply chains for the agrifood sector. The framework aims towards the optimization of the agrifood supply chain design, planning and operations through the implementation of appropriate green supply chain management and logistics principles. More specifically, focus is put on the minimization of the environmental burden and the maximization of supply chain sustainability of the agrifood supply chain. The application of such a framework could result into substantial reduction of CO2 emissions both by the additional production of other biofuels from waste, as well as the introduction of a novel intelligent logistics network, in order to reduce the harvest and transportation energy input. Moreover, the expansion of the biomass feedstock available for biofuel production can provide adequate support towards avoidance of food/fuel competition for land use.
Keywords: supply chain management, green supply chains, sustainable development, agrifood sector