Does resilience reduce food waste? Analysis of Brazilian supplier-retailer dyad

Costa, Flávio Henrique de Oliveira; de Moraes, Camila Colombo; da Silva, Andrea Lago; Delai, Ivete; Chaudhuri, Atanu and Pereira, Carla Roberta (2022). Does resilience reduce food waste? Analysis of Brazilian supplier-retailer dyad. Journal of Cleaner Production, 338, article no. 130488.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130488

Abstract

Food waste negatively impacts the three dimensions of sustainability. Environmentally and financially, it represents a waste of natural resources and increases the cost respectively. Socially, it represents an ethical issue as about 800 million people are suffering from hunger worldwide. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore if and how resilience contributes to food waste reduction in fruits and vegetables distribution in the Brazilian market. Multiple case studies were conducted in the supplier-retailer dyad of four retail chains. Results have shown that resilience plays the role of both enabler and barrier to food waste reduction. On the positive side, collaboration, communication, flexibility, innovation, knowledge management, leadership, security technologies and supply chain design contributed to food waste reduction; especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the negative side, financial health and redundancy increased the level of food waste. Additionally, it was observed that flexibility can reduce or increase food waste. Our findings have implications for academics and practitioners as the developed framework summarizes the role of resilience to food waste reduction. As a social impact, the implementation of food waste reduction initiatives by non-governmental organizations and retailer associations can result in increased communication, knowledge diffusion, and training about how to build resilience and improve food waste reduction practices among different agents. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical study that explores the relationship among elements of resilience and food waste. Thus, it advances the current literature by operationalizing resilience to reduce food waste.

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