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Agri-Food Chain Establishment as a Means to Increase Sustainability in Food Systems: Lessons from Sunflower in Brazil

Lucas Oliveira de Sousa (), Marcelo Dias Paes Ferreira () and Marcus Mergenthaler ()
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Lucas Oliveira de Sousa: Faculty of Agriculture, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Lübecker Ring 2, 59494 Soest, Germany
Marcelo Dias Paes Ferreira: Escola de Agronomia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Av. Esperança, s/n. Campus Samambaia, Goiânia 74690-900, Goiás, Brazil
Marcus Mergenthaler: Faculty of Agriculture, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Lübecker Ring 2, 59494 Soest, Germany

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-17

Abstract: The growing international food demand, the call for plant proteins to improve sustainability, the technological possibilities for sunflower protein ingredients, and the prominent role of Brazil in the world agricultural supply constitute the research background of this article. The aim is to analyze the process of establishment of the major sunflower agri-food chain in Brazil, seeking to support the future development of new sunflower chains to meet an expected increasing demand for high-quality sunflower proteins. A case study research design was applied, involving interviews with stakeholders from the input, farming, and processing segments. Moreover, the case analysis was guided by an analytical framework that regards the agri-food chain establishment as an entrepreneurial process. The findings show that the successful process of the sunflower agri-food chain establishment in Mato Grosso (MT) stems from a set of interconnected driving forces composed of entrepreneurial skills, social network, resource availability, and crop suitability. Furthermore, the analysis indicates the potential for the development of new sunflower chains among soybean farmers from other regions in MT, especially if new sunflower protein food ingredients lead to higher sunflowers prices, which would make this crop economically more attractive. Finally, this case study suggests that the collective establishment of agri-food chains is a challenging endeavor, especially if conducted by outside actors.

Keywords: agribusiness; collective action; double cropping; entrepreneurship; Mato Grosso; social networks; value chain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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