• Sustainability concerns on consumers’ attitude towards short food supply chains: an empirical investigation

      Wang, Meng; Kumar, Vikas; Ruan, Ximing; Saad, Mohammed; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kumar, Anil; University of the West of England; University of Derby; London Metropolitan University (Springer, 2021-03-17)
      While industrialized agro-food supply systems have gained tremendous success in recent decades, it has been increasingly criticized for its adverse environmental and social impact. Amongst this criticism, Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) have emerged as a promising sustainable alternative to the industrialized agri-food supply systems. In recent years there have been some attempts to explore the relationship between SFSCs and sustainability, but these are mostly theoretical discussions and lacks empirical validation. This study, therefore, attempts to provide empirical validation of the SFSCs and sustainability linkages. Additionally, from the theoretical perspective, our work extends the traditional triple bottom line constructs and explores two extra dimensions of sustainability in the food supply chain system, namely, governance and culture, thus exploring five dimensions of sustainability. Furthermore, while SFSCs have proven to improve farmers’ livelihoods and reconnect producers with consumers, little or no attention has been given to understand the consumers' attitudes towards the SFSC practices. Therefore, this study aims to explore the customers’ attitudes towards participating in SFSCs through the concept of a moral economy and personal relationship. Based on the 532 valid responses from Chinese consumers, our study shows that all five pillars of sustainability, moral economy and Chinese relationship have a positive influence on consumers’ participation in SFSCs. With its intuitive benefits, the economic pillar emerged as the most approved factor by the participants. Interestingly our findings show that the social aspect is less prominent than others, which is contrary to existing studies conducted in developed countries.