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Circular Food Supply Chains Barriers
The concept of the circular economy (CE) has gained importance worldwide recently since it offers a wider perspective in terms of promoting sustainable production and consumption with limited resources. However, few studies have investigated the barriers to CE in circular food supply chains.
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, one third of food produced is lost or wasted every year . The report also notes differences between low- and medium-, and high-income countries in terms of the losses at various stages of supply chains. In low- and medium-income countries, food loss mostly occurs at the beginning of the production and supply chains whereas food in high-income countries is thrown away by retailers or consumers to become food waste at the consumption stage . Additionally, the reasons for food losses and waste vary by countries’ income level. In low-income countries, the causes are mostly related to financial restrictions and lack of technical knowledge in harvesting techniques and infrastructure whereas in medium or high-income countries the causes are connected to consumer behaviors and lack of coordination among stakeholders in the food supply chain.
Overall, increasing food waste is becoming a global issue regarding food security, which requires simultaneous management of environmental, economic, and social impacts. In order to eliminate these impacts, it is crucial to create a more sustainable food supply chain. Therefore, the concept of the CE has recently emerged as a response to the current linearity of the food supply chain. It offers an alternative method to the unsustainable linear economic model, which is identified with the ‘take, make, and dispose’ trilogy . Moreover, increasing urbanization poses new challenges globally. More than half of the world’s population already live in urban areas, and this proportion is anticipated to rise to 80% by 2050 . Meanwhile, the tremendously increasing world population increases demand for resources in urban regions as well as causing environmental problems, socio-economic inequalities, and new energy needs .
As a sustainable economic method, CE reduces the extraction of raw materials and enables recirculation of resources, thereby creating advantageous environments for both societies and industries. . Among the many aims of CE, the most important is keeping materials available to decrease waste and energy use instead of disposing of them . However, implementing CE requires both radical alternative economic solutions and novel management of resources . CE mainly aims to resolve problems of resource use, waste, and emissions throughout the supply chain. These goals can be achieved by offering products, components, and materials with the minimum possible waste or even zero waste .
The transition from a linear economy to CE has created many requirements, such as increasing product reliability and quality . Due to increased forward and reverse activities in the supply chain, businesses also need to adapt themselves to manage these dynamic characteristics and deal with multiple stakeholders and unpredictable conditions. To achieve CE, it is necessary to deal with various obstacles, such as strict legal regulations, high technology investment, company corporate culture, and insufficient knowledge of CE. While moving towards CE, many business models require a fundamental change to find new sustainable solutions. Businesses must therefore understand and overcome the challenges and barriers of CE to ensure sustainable development.
Despite its importance, few studies have integrated CE philosophy into the food supply chain . It is also necessary to analyze the challenges during the transition to CE. While some studies have investigated obstacles to CE implementations , few studies have considered how digital technologies can be used to tackle CE barriers. Therefore, it is important to fill this gap . Accordingly, this paper systematically analyzes the barriers to implementing CE in the food supply chain. It is important to understand current challenges, as viewed by industry, academics, and policymakers, to encourage future research, support companies, and determine the necessary regulations to move towards CE. Then, the importance of digital technologies is presented in order to overcome CE barriers.
The main research objectives of this study are as follows:
-To investigate the key barriers when implementing CE dimensions in the food supply chain;
-To systematically categorize CE dimensions for the food supply chain to overcome challenges;
-To analyze interaction effects between CE dimensions and food supply chain stages and between CE dimensions and sub-sectors of the food industry;
-To determine the benefits of digital technologies to overcome CE challenges in the food supply chain.
2. Analyses of CE Barriers in the Food Supply Chain
|Cultural||(B1) Lacking Consumer Awareness and Interest||.|
|(B2) Hesitant Company Culture|||
|(B3) Inadequate Knowledge About CE|||
|(B4) Currently Operating in a Linear System|||
|Business and Business Finance||(B5) Weak Economic Incentives|||
|(B6) Major Investment Costs|||
|(B7) High Cost of Receiving Recycling Product|||
|(B8) Mismatch between Return and Profit|
|(B9) Increased Research Cost|||
|(B10) Limited Business Model Applications|||
|Regulatory and Governmental||(B11) Lack of Conductive Legal Systems|||
|(B12) Policy Challenges||.|
|(B13) Taxation and Incentives|||
|(B14) Existing Loose Environmental Regulations|
|(B15) Different Focuses between Central and Local Governments|||
|(B16) Lack of Proper Waste Infrastructure|
|(B17) Lack of Standard System for CE performance|||
|Technological||(B18) Technical Limitations of Recycling|||
|(B19) Need for Data Integration|||
|(B20) Lack of Eco-efficiency of the Technological Processes|||
|Managerial||(B21) Poor Leadership and Management|||
|(B22) Missing Information Exchange|||
|(B23) Lack of Collaboration|||
|(B24) Higher priority of other issues|||
|(B25) Ineffective labor|||
|Supply Chain Management||(B26) Lack of Eco-Literacy Among Supply Chain Partners|||
|(B27) Need for a High-Level Supply Chain Integration|||
|(B28) Unavailable Effective Framework Adaptation|
|Knowledge and Skills||(B29) Difficulty in Defining CE|||
|(B30) Difficulties in implementation of CE|||
3. Relationships Between CE and Digital Technologies
|CE DIMENSIONS||INDUSTRY 4.0 TECHNOLOGIES|
|Reuse||CPS, BDA, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Nanotechnologies, Blockchain|
|Recycle||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI,3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchain|
|Remanufacturing||IoT, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics|
|Repair||IoT, CPS, BDA, 3DP|
|Rethink||AGV, Machine Learning|
|Redesign||Iot, AGV, Machine Learning|
|Main Barriers||Sub-Barriers||Author(s)||CE Dimensions||Industry 4.0 Technologies|
|Cultural||(B1) Lacking consumer awareness and interest||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink, Remanufacturing, Redesign, Repair, Refurbish||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B2) Hesitant company culture||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Refurbish||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics, Blockchains, Nanotechnology|
|(B3) Inadequate knowledge about CE||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Refurbish, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B4) Currently operating in a linear system||||Reuse, Reduce, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|Business and Business Finance||(B5) Weak economic incentives||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Refurbish, Rethink, Redesign||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B6) Major investment costs||||Repurpose, Rethink||AGV, Machine Learning|
|(B7) High cost of receiving recycling product||||Rethink||AGV, Machine Learning|
|(B8) Mismatch between return and profit||||Rethink||AGV, Machine Learning|
|(B9) Increased research cost||||Repurpose, Rethink||AGV, Machine Learning|
|(B10) Limited business model applications||||Repair, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, 3DP, AGV, Machine learning|
|Regulatory and Governmental||(B11) Lack of conductive legal systems||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Refurbish, Rethink|
|(B12) Policy challenges||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Recover, Refurbish, Rethink, Redesign||IoT, CPS, BDA, AI, 3DP, CC, Blockchains, Robotics, AGV, Machine Learning|
|(B13) Taxation and incentives||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink|
|(B14) Existing loose environmental regulations||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Recover, Rethink|
|(B15) Different focuses between central and local governments||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, Robotics, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning|
|(B16) Lack of proper waste infrastructure||||Rethink, Reduce||IoT, AGV, 3DP, Machine learning|
|(B17) Lack of standard system for CE performance||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Recover, Refurbish, Rethink|
|Technological||(B18) Technical limitations of recycling||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Refurbish, Rethink, Redesign|
|(B19) Need for data integration||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B20) Lack of eco-efficiency of the technological processes||||Reuse, Recycle, Remanufacturing, Rethink|
|Managerial||(B21) Poor leadership and management||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Recover, Rethink|
|(B22) Missing information exchange||||Reuse, Recycle, Remanufacturing, Repair||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Robotics, Blockchains, Nanotechnology|
|(B23) Lack of collaboration||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink, Redesign||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B24) Higher priority of other issues||||Rethink||AGV, Machine learning|
|(B25) Ineffective labor||||Repurpose, Rethink||AGV, Machine learning|
|Supply chain management||(B26) Lack of eco-literacy among supply-chain partners||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|(B27) Need for a high-level supply chain integration||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Repair, Recover, Rethink|
|(B28) Unavailable effective framework adaptation||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rethink||IoT, CPS, BDA, CC, AI, 3DP, RFID, Barcodes, Blockchains, AGV, Machine learning, Nanotechnology|
|Knowledge and Skills||(B29) Difficulty in defining CE||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Refurbish, Repurpose, Rethink|
|(B30) Difficulties in implementation of CE||||Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Remanufacturing, Refurbish, Rethink|
The entry is from 10.3390/su13126812
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