Sustainability has become an important issue in all aspects of corporate policy. This also applies to organizations operating in agrifood supply chains. Most literature on sustainability in the agrifood industry focuses on food security or prevention of food losses. However, little attention has been paid to how organizations working in agrifood supply chains use new approaches and innovations for making physical distribution more sustainable. Therefore we set up a study on how companies in the agrifood supply chains use innovations to improve the sustainability of the physical distribution. For this purpose, we have interviewed key managers of 14 Dutch companies—6 logistics service providers, 3 wholesalers and 5 food processors—all involved in agrifood value chains on how they approach, and innovatively improve, sustainability within physical distribution. We found that all the groups of companies have sustainability in their mission and use various innovations for improving the sustainability of their physical distribution. We also found that various links in the chain preferred different types of innovations e.g. food processors preferred innovations linked to reduction strategy and wholesalers focused on innovations related to efficiency strategy. The applied innovations were not linked to the supply chain as a whole, but concentrated on a specific aspect of the supply chain and were often initiated by a partner from outside the agrifood supply chain.
|Reinder Pieters, Paul van Beek, Hans-Heinrich Glöckner, Onno Omta en Stef Weijers||2017|