HOW SUSTAINABLE SHORT FOOD SUPPLY CHAINS ARE? A QUANTITATIVE ASSESMENT APPROACH

Agata Malak-Rawlikowska1, Edward Majewski1

1Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Nowoursynowska, Warsaw, Poland

agata_malak_rawlikowska@sggw.pl

 

ABSTRACT

There is an on-going scientific and policy debate how to utilize the local food systems and Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) in order to provide beneficial solutions to the society and rural areas. Producers that participate in these systems are supposed to gain a higher share of the value added and contribute to the development of local territories. It is believed, that local food systems and shortened food supply chains provide also benefits to the natural environment. However, to date, very little empirical evidence exists on the quantitative impact of varied types of food supply chains.

Given the shortcomings in the literature this presentation focuses on the quantitative assessment of economic, environmental and social sustainability of selected Short Food Supply Chains. The evaluation of an impact of SFSC draws upon a set of indicators developed within the Strength2Food project.

This contribution presents the first preliminary results of case studies conducted in Poland and France. A variety of products were investigated to explore and compare diverse value chains.

Our results confirm that farmers usually participate in more than one chain, diversifying distribution channels. Some farmers participate both in short and long channels. In economic terms, (price premium, added value) SFSCs are found to be more beneficial for farmers, while it seems that „long supply” channels generate less negative environmental impacts per unit of production measured by carbon footprint. Our findings also suggest that farmers participating in SFSC perceive a greater bargaining power in comparison to their counterparts involved in longer market chains