Facilitating Aligned Co-decisions for More Sustainable Food Value Chains

Petit, Gaëlle; Yannou-Le Bris, Gwenola; Eckert, Claudia and Liu, Yan (2021). Facilitating Aligned Co-decisions for More Sustainable Food Value Chains. Sustainability, 13(12), article no. 6551.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126551


The transition of existing food value chains towards greater sustainability is a societal imperative and a potential competitive factor. To succeed, some actors in the chains define new practices to establish common sustainability goals. To date, there is little evidence that the visions and values of the various actors in the chains have been leading to common solutions. This work explores the impact of collaboration on the value chain actors’ ability to jointly decide strategies for rede-signing their activities. It reports on an empirical approach, which elicits the values and priorities of different stakeholders. The case takes place in the context of a value chain of the produc-tion/processing/sale of pork products. This value chain involves two French produc-tion-processing and redistribution cooperatives. Stakeholders were questioned about their pri-oritization of sustainability issues and these weights were applied to evaluate 12 animal feed solutions that vary in terms of the composition and geographical origin of rations, and the means and locations of their production. The results show that despite several years of cooperation, the objectives of the upstream and downstream actors remain different. The objectives of the upstream actors are driven by the economic difficulties of production and those of the downstream actors by the multiplicity of consumer demands and cost control objectives. In a reversal of the current practice marked by the economic difficulties of the actors upstream of the chain, an integrated culture could be led by bottom-up approaches to create a shared vision. Public policy would be then essential in regulating the sharing of value among actors; and in promoting chain models that help the required investments.

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