Improving environmental outcomes along food supply chains: a review of initiatives and their effectiveness

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published September 2022 by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Authored by Deconinck, K. and Hobeika, M.

Summary

This paper reviews initiatives which take a “supply chain lens” to improving environmental outcomes of food systems. Some of the initiatives focus on due diligence or ask firms to disclose impacts of their supply chain. Others benchmark firms according to supply chain performance. Firms also increasingly make corporate pledges covering their supply chain. In addition to traditional voluntary sustainability standards and labels, new labels are emerging which communicate actual environmental impacts along the life cycle. Governments can also provide financial incentives linked to such impacts. This review demonstrates the strong growth and diversity of initiatives, bolstered by more clearly defined societal expectations and reporting standards, and leading to a greater availability of data and evidence and more universal reporting, reducing the scope for greenwashing. Despite their great promise, the paper finds there remain coverage gaps. Evidence on effectiveness also remains relatively scarce, although there is a clear increase in the number of empirical studies.

Research detail

Improving environmental outcomes along food supply chains: a review of initiatives and their effectiveness

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published September 2022 by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Authored by Deconinck, K. and Hobeika, M.

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