Chapter 15 Sustainability assessment in the food supply chain
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The increasing demands of stakeholders for better sustainability performance have triggered an interest in the measurement of sustainability performance, particularly in sensitive industries such as food, where limited attention has been devoted to assessing sustainability at the different stages of the supply chain. The aims of this study are to investigate if and how companies address sustainability assessment at different stages of the food supply chain, and to identify the elements that may motivate them to assess their sustainability efforts. Twelve cases in four stages of the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chain in Italy are studied. The analysis shows that sustainability assessment is highly heterogeneous and explains the way companies face different stakeholder pressures. Three factors that influence the assessment of sustainability are discussed: company size, complexity of the measurements and the level of vertical integration.

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