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Improving environmental outcomes along food supply chains: A review of initiatives and their effectiveness

Koen Deconinck and May Hobeika

No 186, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: This paper reviews initiatives which take a “supply chain lens” to improving environmental outcomes of food systems. Some focus on due diligence, or ask firms to disclose impacts of their supply chain. Others benchmark firms according to supply chain performance. Firms also increasingly make corporate pledges covering their supply chain. In addition to traditional voluntary sustainability standards and labels, new labels are emerging which communicate actual environmental impacts along the life cycle. Governments can also provide financial incentives linked to such impacts. This review demonstrates the strong growth and diversity of initiatives, bolstered by more clearly defined societal expectations and reporting standards, and leading to a greater availability of data and evidence and more universal reporting, reducing the scope for greenwashing. Despite their great promise, there remain coverage gaps. Evidence on effectiveness also remains relatively scarce, although there is a clear increase in the number of empirical studies.

Keywords: Due diligence; Life cycle assessment; Supply chain initiatives; Sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M14 Q17 Q27 Q37 Q51 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-09-27
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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