Introduction Sustainability in the agri-food sector is essential to ensure reduced pressure on natural resources and good living conditions in rural areas (FAO, 2011). Achieving this objective largely depends on the constant introduction of innovation along the whole agri-food chain (OECD, 2019). Public policies can play a forefront role in this regard (OECD, 2021). However, although many studies and reviews focused on the issues at farm level (especially in relation to agri-environmental measures), little is still explored regarding the impact on the agri-food chain as a whole (Uthes & Matzdorf, 2013). Within such a framework, the aim of this research is thus to investigate the role of public policies in affecting the adoption of sustainable innovation in the agri-food value chains. To this end, a systematic literature review was developed for exploring four key aspects at the basis of the comprehension of such an important theme: i) nature of the policies in place, ii) policy instruments employed, iii) sustainability dimension target of the policy, iv) stages of the chain addressed by the policy. Data and research methodology The research was run on Scopus on peer-reviewed articles and reviews, based on title, abstract and keywords. The textual content of the query was: sustainab* AND innovat* AND (agri* OR food*) AND chain AND polic* AND public. Finally, we also restricted the research to specific subject areas. Discussion of results The research query led to a selection of 24 articles. However, 7 of them were excluded after a first screening of the abstract. A sample of 17 works was finally analysed for the purposes of the review. The first outcome of the research was that very few authors thoroughly addressed the role played by public policies in orienting agri-food value chains towards sustainability. The present work highlighted also that a large part of the reviewed literature is mostly case study-oriented. However, some authors approached the research with an even narrower focus, i.e. observing only specific stages of the agri- food chain. Furthermore, many manuscripts only mentioned the existence of specific policy frameworks without providing a comprehensive analysis of the related functioning, objectives and instruments. Although no geographical restriction was set in the research criteria, the main public policy debated in the reviewed works was the EU Common Agricultural Policy. However, at the local level, other policies were also discussed within the reviewed literature. In addition, the main policy instruments debated across the reviewed manuscripts were mostly monetary in nature, but normative and informative instruments resulted largely explored as well. In conclusion, the majority of the reviewed papers investigated the role of public policies in relation to the environmental dimension of sustainability. However, also the economic and social domains resulted largely debated by many authors. Main conclusions The outcomes of the present study suggest the possible lack in the literature of a research work thoroughly exploring the role of public policies from a theoretical perspective with a comprehensive view of the agri-food chain. With this regard, the current research represents in fact the state-of-the-art of a more articulated work studying the role of public policies to support sustainability-oriented innovation along agri-food value chains.

The role of public policies on sustainable innovation in agri-food value chains

Matteo Zavalloni;
2021

Abstract

Introduction Sustainability in the agri-food sector is essential to ensure reduced pressure on natural resources and good living conditions in rural areas (FAO, 2011). Achieving this objective largely depends on the constant introduction of innovation along the whole agri-food chain (OECD, 2019). Public policies can play a forefront role in this regard (OECD, 2021). However, although many studies and reviews focused on the issues at farm level (especially in relation to agri-environmental measures), little is still explored regarding the impact on the agri-food chain as a whole (Uthes & Matzdorf, 2013). Within such a framework, the aim of this research is thus to investigate the role of public policies in affecting the adoption of sustainable innovation in the agri-food value chains. To this end, a systematic literature review was developed for exploring four key aspects at the basis of the comprehension of such an important theme: i) nature of the policies in place, ii) policy instruments employed, iii) sustainability dimension target of the policy, iv) stages of the chain addressed by the policy. Data and research methodology The research was run on Scopus on peer-reviewed articles and reviews, based on title, abstract and keywords. The textual content of the query was: sustainab* AND innovat* AND (agri* OR food*) AND chain AND polic* AND public. Finally, we also restricted the research to specific subject areas. Discussion of results The research query led to a selection of 24 articles. However, 7 of them were excluded after a first screening of the abstract. A sample of 17 works was finally analysed for the purposes of the review. The first outcome of the research was that very few authors thoroughly addressed the role played by public policies in orienting agri-food value chains towards sustainability. The present work highlighted also that a large part of the reviewed literature is mostly case study-oriented. However, some authors approached the research with an even narrower focus, i.e. observing only specific stages of the agri- food chain. Furthermore, many manuscripts only mentioned the existence of specific policy frameworks without providing a comprehensive analysis of the related functioning, objectives and instruments. Although no geographical restriction was set in the research criteria, the main public policy debated in the reviewed works was the EU Common Agricultural Policy. However, at the local level, other policies were also discussed within the reviewed literature. In addition, the main policy instruments debated across the reviewed manuscripts were mostly monetary in nature, but normative and informative instruments resulted largely explored as well. In conclusion, the majority of the reviewed papers investigated the role of public policies in relation to the environmental dimension of sustainability. However, also the economic and social domains resulted largely debated by many authors. Main conclusions The outcomes of the present study suggest the possible lack in the literature of a research work thoroughly exploring the role of public policies from a theoretical perspective with a comprehensive view of the agri-food chain. With this regard, the current research represents in fact the state-of-the-art of a more articulated work studying the role of public policies to support sustainability-oriented innovation along agri-food value chains.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2705592
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