The sustainability challenges of fresh food supply chains : an integrative framework

Duarte, André Luís de Castro Moura and Picanço Rodrigues, Vinicius and Costa, Luana Bonome Message (2024) The sustainability challenges of fresh food supply chains : an integrative framework. Environment, Development and Sustainability. pp. 1-25. ISSN 1573-2975 (

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Fresh food supply chains (FFSC) are pivotal in food and agricultural systems, with effective management crucial for addressing hunger and poverty globally and contributing to various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Increasing consumer demand for safer, eco-friendly, and sustainably produced fresh products has highlighted the importance of sustainability in FFSC. This growing focus poses challenges for academics and practitioners dedicated to sustainable development and meeting evolving consumer expectations. FFSC management is notably complex due to unique factors such as varying perishability, seasonal production, and the need for adherence to safety and quality standards, amidst complex and diverse networks. Despite its critical role, a structured approach to navigating FFSC sustainability challenges is lacking. Our research undertakes a thorough two-stage examination of current scholarly work to identify key factors affecting FFSC sustainability. Initially, we reviewed 182 papers on broader FFSC management to gauge the field's research landscape, guiding a focused review. Subsequently, a detailed analysis of 39 papers specifically on FFSC sustainability led to the development of a comprehensive framework, comprising FFSC characteristics, entities, management practices, and enabling factors. This framework aims to enhance understanding and guide efforts by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers towards fostering sustainability in FFSC, thereby supporting the achievement of SDGs.