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Title: Sustainable food supply chains
Author: Sim, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2006
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The main objective of this research was to develop a methodology based on Life Cycle Assessment and Value Chain Analysis, and apply it in decision-support processes/tools to help buyers in Marks and Spencer’s (M&S) Food Business to incorporate sustainability criteria in their sourcing decisions. This is necessary because food retailing has undergone an enormous transformation over the last five decades, with major increases in the level of world trade. This has helped retailers to meet modem consumer expectations, but environmental and social implications result. Fresh produce and commodity products retailed by M&S were used as case studies to inform the development of decision-support processes by providing a better understanding of the dominant sustainability impacts associated with food supply systems for these products and the stages in the supply chain at which they arise. The results confirm that the issue of sustainable sourcing is highly complex; there are multiple dimensions to consider and many of these are uncertain and subject to value judgements. A process of stakeholder engagement was therefore also carried out to inform the development of these processes; robust ways to manage the inevitable trade-offs between multiple sustainability criteria were investigated. This work has incorporated methodologies from a variety of disciplines in order to illustrate how they can be adapted and applied for product sustainability assessment and management, embracing the multiple criteria which are of concern. Though this research has focused on Marks and Spencer’s food supply chains, the results are of general importance; they are illustrative of the effects of sourcing trends and supply chain mechanisms within the UK multiple retail sector. It is hoped that this work catalyzes debate, and further research and development of mechanisms, both cultural and technical, which can assist professional buyers in industrialised countries in the pursuit of sustainability objectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available