Sustainable Food Supply Chains: Is Shortening the Answer? A Literature Review for a Research and Innovation Agenda

Chiffoleau Y, Dourian T. (2020). “Sustainable Food Supply Chains: Is Shortening the Answer? A Literature Review for a Research and Innovation Agenda.” Sustainability 12(23), 9831.

Abstract: Short food supply chains (SFSCs) are increasingly garnering attention in food systems research, owing to their rising popularity among consumers, producers and policy-makers in the last few decades. Written with the aim to identify research gaps for the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, this literature review provides a state of play of the definition and characterisation of SFSCs, and of their sustainability. Drawing on hypotheses about SFSC sustainability elaborated in an expert network in France, this review summarises a wide range of papers from various disciplines in the SFSC literature, written in English or French, while specifically highlighting the empirical results derived from European projects. Though the literature tends to generally agree on the social benefits of SFSCs, their economic and environmental impacts typically elicit more heterogeneous outcomes, while their health/nutrition and governance dimensions remain under-explored. Based on this review, recommendations for a future research and innovation programme are outlined, addressing the contribution of SFSCs to agrifood system transition and resilience in the current context of the Covid-19 crisis and of the Green New Deal objectives.

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