Business strategy pathways for short food supply chains: Sharing value between consumers and producers

F. Cirone M. Masotti, P. Prosperi S. Bosi, G. Dinelli and M. Vittuari
Sustainable Production and Consumption
Resource type:
Peer review

Short food supply chains play a vital role in connecting local producers with consumers, promoting sustainability, supporting local economies, and providing access to fresh, high-quality products. However, their market is still underdeveloped due to the mismatching between consumer demand and producer supply.

The aim of this work is to identify a common vision between producers and consumers in short food supply chains proposing key actions for an effective business strategy to improve alternative food systems at a territorial level. The strategic long-term vision to foster short food supply chains is based on a direct farmer-to-retailer model. Grounded on the case of an ancient grains supply chain located in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, this research relies on a mixed-method approach including quantitative and qualitative methodologies. A household survey conducted with a representative sample of 1122 Italian households allowed to identify four consumer profiles. Then, two focus groups conducted with 10 food supply chain stakeholders led to the identification of six thematic areas of action.

By the backcasting methodology, ancient grains supply chain actors proposed a set of business actions to reach consumers' preferences. Finally, a two rounds Delphi conducted with 23 food supply chain experts allowed to validate the results and the 18 actions to be adopted from 2023 to 2030 for the business strategy pathway.

The business strategy pathway can increase the local market presence of ancient grain products, helping producers to plan future business activities and disclose changes in consumer preferences or market conditions.


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This resource has been peer reviewed