Sustainability Of The Conventional Agro Food System

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Over the last three decades, both in the academic and policy discourses it is possible to observe a common concern about the sustainability of the conventional agro-food system. The mainstream agro-food system is highly concentrated in the hands of a few large, private corporations, and that concentration is increasing [1]. The procurement system is vertically and horizontally integrated, global in scale, and aimed at maximizing efficiency and profit [2]. Even if the vertical integration and consolidation of the mainstream agro-food system has unquestionably contributed to achieving higher productivity levels along the food supply chain, at the same time, such development model mainly based on economic efficiency and profit maximization,…show more content…
Even if there is a common agreement that AFNs could offer the opportunity to revitalize local rural communities by letting small and medium-scale food producers to meet the consumers’ demand for accessing to local fresh produce, their market share is still extremely small compared to mainstream agro-food system [10]. Moreover, every different form of AFNs, in the attempt to minimize the number of intermediaries in the food supply chains, require considerable commitment from both farmers and consumers. They perform activities that intermediaries carry out in the mainstream agro-business system and they manage the related informational flows. The direct marketing and selling activities in the AFNs are highly labour-intensive and often they are not very profitable for producers, due to a low volume of sales, high logistic and marketing costs, as well as competition from supermarkets [8]. Some authors have argued that the alternative food movement and their initiatives lack the appropriate scale to transition into mainstream markets and to represent a concrete sustainable alternative [1]. [2], [8]. To overcome the major obstacle to the growth of AFNs, in recent years Food Hubs (FHs) have been emerging as a promising way to face the challenges of
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