Sustainable Food Supply Chain Framework in a Circular Economy

Sustainable Food Supply Chain Framework in a Circular Economy

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7664-2.ch013
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Sustainable food supply chain (SFSC) practices have been established over the last few decades in an effort to minimize unanticipated adverse environmental effects of the food processes and integrate environmental concerns. In order to create self-sustaining food production systems where materials are reused again, the circular economy focuses on more than merely reducing the use of the environment as a sink for waste. This book chapter proposes the SFSC framework in a circular economy to show that the SFSC is a multi-dimensional notion, where other issues should also be taken into account in addition to food quality and food safety and hygiene. This book chapter asserts that incorporating circular economy ideas into SFSC can have significant positive effects on the environment. There are gaps in the literature that are imperative to be filled to confirm the efficiency of the safeguards for food integrity and their effects on the SFSC in a circular economy.
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In 2030 and 2050, the world population is expected to increase to 8.5 billion people and 9.5 billion people respectively. Hence, there will be a 70% rise in food production which eventually will put pressure on the food supply chain (FSC) as a whole. In the current situation, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food are predicted to be wasted annually (Nicastro & Carillo, 2021). Due to that, growing public awareness of a sustainable food supply chain (SFSC) in ensuring food security and safety has become a phenomenon in recent years (Zhang et al., 2019). Consequently, the public is now extremely concerned about the current state of the FSC as it relates to attaining the circular economy. This is particularly precise given that up to one-third of the food produced worldwide is wasted or lost as a result of inadequate management of FSC (Spang et al., 2019). Therefore, one of the potential solutions that provide resolutions to improve and optimise production and consumption towards the SFSC is a circular economy implementation. The circular economy model of production and consumption comprises sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing resources and products as long as possible and able to prolong the life cycle of products and minimising wastes (Kirchherr et al., 2017). Hence, the circular economy concept is of boundless interest in order to develop a SFSC towards improving food safety and reduce food wastes (Ojha et al., 2020).

The existing FSC is unsustainable since it is impacted by numerous issues of an environmental, economic, and social nature. The circular economy is one of the potential solutions since it provides instruments to improve and optimise consumption and production in the pursuit of a sustainable paradigm (Jurgilevich et al., 2016). Growing attention has been given to this novel idea over the past ten years in an effort to offer a viable alternative to the prevalent linear economic model. As a means of implementing sustainable development to boost competitiveness, safeguarding firms from resource scarcity, and assisting in the creation of new opportunities and innovative markets, the circular economy concept is of significant importance (Cristóbal et al., 2018). The circular economy idea also encompasses the critical effects of eco-design, waste reduction, and product recovery within the FSC, including cost savings, energy conservation, waste elimination, and sustainable consumption. Hence, it is important to concentrate on the efficiency of the FSC from farm to form. FSC businesses in the circular economy can work together to maximise salvage value and achieve zero waste. Though the study of circular economy is still relatively new, it was found that the SFSC topic had not received enough attention in the literature. In Malaysia, there are no proactive initiatives to recover or recycle the returns in circular settings, indicating that the country's FSC sector has not given the circular economy any thought (Ibn-Mohammed et al., 2021).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Food Integrity: Refers to the production of food products that respect the environment, people and at the highest ethical standards.

Supply Chain Management: The management of the flow of products and services, which encompasses all operations that convert raw resources into finished products.

Food Sustainability: Refers to growing food in a way that benefits both peoples and animals in the communities where it is produced, protects the environment, makes effective use of natural resources, and improves the quality of life.

Food Supply Chain: Also refers to as food system where the process of moving food products through the production, storage and handling, processing, and packaging, distribution, retailing and consumption processes on its way from the producer to the consumer.

Circular Economy: Circular economy in food products involves decreasing the amount of waste produced, reusing food, utilising by-products and food waste, recycling nutrients, and changing dietary habits to include more varied and effective meal patterns.

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