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Sustainability in the Food Industry

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Food".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 4518

Special Issue Editor


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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue provides an overview of sustainability, solutions and challenges in the food industry. The sustainability of food production and supply chains should be addressed in line with Agenda 2030 and sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Special Issue reports on the ideas and successful technologies in lowering the carbon footprint of the process and products. There is also scope for the implementation of digitalization and modern digital technologies in processing aimed at optimization. There is a need to improve processes and lower environmental impacts, increase societal impact and apply circular economy principles. This Special Issue will improve existing knowledge and fill gaps to bridge the transition to sustainable production and processing. The concept is advancing toward low carbon emissions processing and digitalization in the food industry. We expect submissions on topics related to improving sustainability in food production/supply chain and strategies to implement innovative approaches to recycle, reduce, reuse and upcycle waste/surplus in the supply/production chain. The Special Issue is also open to submissions with a focus on food waste and losses and United Nations (UN) SDGs; sustainable diets and food waste; Life cycle assessment (LCA) in valorization and the utilization of (food) waste/by-products/surplus and innovation towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the food industry.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Waste, and Joint Special Issue in Foods.

Prof. Dr. Anet Režek Režek Jambrak
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • food industry
  • food waste
  • food loss
  • life cycle assessment
  • sustainable development goals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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18 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
The Power of Responsibility: Unlocking the Potential of CSR in Hospitality’s Fight against Food Waste
by Zhiren Ma, Talles Vianna Brugni, Heiko Hector and Bernd Sauer
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 2847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16072847 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 546
Abstract
This research focuses on the significant role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in shaping employees’ behavior towards the reduction of food waste in the hospitality industry that has been under scrutiny for its environmental impact. The study aimed at understanding how CSR, coupled [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the significant role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in shaping employees’ behavior towards the reduction of food waste in the hospitality industry that has been under scrutiny for its environmental impact. The study aimed at understanding how CSR, coupled with employees’ moral attitudes, admiration for their organization, and climate change awareness influences sustainable practices by realizing the complex interplay between company initiatives and personal psychology. The participants were staff members who worked in several hotels in China where there were active CSR programs. Using established scales, we collected 422 valid responses over three waves to strengthen our data collection process. Empirically, it was found that CSR directly influenced food-waste-reduction behavior. Additionally, it was discovered that this relationship was mediated by moral attitudes and employee admiration as well as moderated by awareness of climate change. The findings have substantial theoretical implications regarding the interaction between emotional and cognitive factors within the CSR framework to influence behavior among employees. This paves the way for creating well-rounded strategies that appeal to staff and encourage sustainability in the hotel business. While focused on China’s hospitality industry, this research creates room for future studies in other places around the world using various methods. The conclusions drawn underline the critical role of CSR in promoting environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry, providing a pathway for organizations to engage employees in meaningful and impactful sustainability initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Food Industry)
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25 pages, 2006 KiB  
Article
Sustainability of the Food Industry: Ecological Efficiency and Influencing Mechanism of Carbon Emissions Trading Policy in China
by Jiping Sheng, Xiaoge Gao and Yongqi Sun
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16052059 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
As an important factor affecting ecological sustainability, the food industry’s ecological efficiency (EE) deserves great attention and control. In 2013, China implemented a carbon emissions trading policy (CETP) to limit carbon emissions from various industries to promote the optimization of the ecological environment. [...] Read more.
As an important factor affecting ecological sustainability, the food industry’s ecological efficiency (EE) deserves great attention and control. In 2013, China implemented a carbon emissions trading policy (CETP) to limit carbon emissions from various industries to promote the optimization of the ecological environment. To explore the ecological sustainability of China’s food industry, identify the factors affecting the EE of the food industry, and study the influence heterogeneity and influencing mechanisms, the impact of the CETP on the food industry, which emits high volumes of greenhouse gasses, requires evaluation. Many scholars have studied the policy’s effect from the perspective of EE, but they have ignored the food industry, which is the main carbon emitting sector, and there is a lack of heterogeneity analyses of the influencing factors. This study reviewed the implementation process and characteristics of the CETP in the past decades. Using provincial panel data from 2003 to 2019, this study measured the EE in the food industry through the difference-in-difference model, evaluated the emission reduction and economic effects of the CETP on the food industry, characterized the heterogeneity of the policy’s effectiveness, and analysed its mechanism using three-stage mediating regression. The results showed that (1) the CETP significantly affected the food industry’s EE, which increased by 38.3% on average in experimental provinces compared with non-experimental provinces. (2) For the food industry, the policy’s effect was most significant in the food manufacturing and tobacco subsectors, and these subsectors in the experimental provinces increased by 66.0% and 39.7%, respectively; meanwhile, the policy’s effect was not significant in agriculture and subsidiary food processing and beverage manufacturing. By industrial area, the policy’s effects were significantly higher in the eastern region compared with the central and western regions. The influence on the food industry’s EE in the eastern region was close to 150%, while in the central and western regions, it was not significant. (3) The CETP promoted the food industry’s EE by improving energy consumption structure and technological innovation. The proportion of coal consumption decreased by 6.34% on average, and the technological innovation level increased by 25.1% on average in the experimental provinces’ food industries. The research findings indicate that the CEPT is a good practice and worth spreading. For food industry enterprises with high carbon emissions, attention should be paid to low-carbon transformation through technological upgrading and management optimization. For policymakers, targeted policies are needed to establish a national unified carbon trading market so that the national carbon emissions can be controlled, and the gap between regional carbon emissions can be narrowed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Food Industry)
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17 pages, 1548 KiB  
Article
Friend or Foe: How Do Consumers and Producers Affect the ESG Rating Index? Evidence from China’s Market of Organic Milk
by Jiangyuan Hou, Yanping Wang and Mingyue Du
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10819; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410819 - 10 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1241
Abstract
This study attempts to investigate how product attributes and consumer socio-economic status affect organic milk (OM) product ESG performance. There are not many pertinent studies on the interaction between the EGS evaluation system and organic milk products. Thus, this paper develops a targeted [...] Read more.
This study attempts to investigate how product attributes and consumer socio-economic status affect organic milk (OM) product ESG performance. There are not many pertinent studies on the interaction between the EGS evaluation system and organic milk products. Thus, this paper develops a targeted hedonic-regression model based on the EPB and ECB theories to investigate the ESG and sub-ESG impact of the above attributes based on the consumption dataset from Kantar Worldpanel. We also introduce the moderating variable of marketing resource intensity (MRI) to check the influencing mechanism of the sub-ESG rating index. This study demonstrates that the intensity of marketing resources has a moderating effect on the ESG performance of organic milk producers. Moreover, we also found evidence that the household’s family size and internal product attributes have a more significant impact on the ESG rating index. In addition, compared to social and governance information, the environmental information disclosure index has a more significant influence on consumers’ socio-economic status and product attributes compared with the social and governance rating index. This study not only contributes to deepening the understanding of the ESG evaluation system but also provides scientific guidance for the producers’ ESG strategy. Therefore, to increase the competitive advantage of OM enterprises, they should endeavor to construct a comprehensive evaluation system of entertainment social governance rating indexes and engage in environmental investment activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Food Industry)
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32 pages, 2605 KiB  
Systematic Review
Eye-Tracking Studies on Sustainable Food Consumption: A Systematic Literature Review
by Tonia Ruppenthal
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316434 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1163
Abstract
In recent decades, sustainable products have been increasingly investigated using eye-tracking. Eye-tracking is applied to the record eye movements and visual attention of consumers as they search for food, and from this, conclusions can be drawn about their sustainable food consumption. To obtain [...] Read more.
In recent decades, sustainable products have been increasingly investigated using eye-tracking. Eye-tracking is applied to the record eye movements and visual attention of consumers as they search for food, and from this, conclusions can be drawn about their sustainable food consumption. To obtain a comparative overview of the previous utilization of eye-tracking in studies on sustainable food and consumption, a systematic literature search following the guidelines of the PRISMA statement was applied. In total, 38 eye-tracking studies were identified, with six main areas of investigation emerging: eye-tracking application, labeling, consumer attention, consumer choice and preference, consumer attitude and behavior, and willingness-to-pay. The review is aimed at both researchers and managers. In future research, the sample size of eye-tracking should be increased or focused on certain age groups in order to uncover sustainable consumer habits. In addition, field and not just laboratory studies with eye-tracking need to be conducted. To obtain comparable results, it is necessary that researchers apply the same eye-tracking metrics and terms. Organic labels can influence consumer attention and purchase decisions if bottom-up factors of the labels are better aligned with other product information. Top-down factors, i.e., consumer attitude and choice, must also be taken into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Food Industry)
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