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Harvesting sustainability: assessing Industry 4.0 in agri-food supply chains

Harshad Sonar (Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), A Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, Nashik, India)
Isha Sharma (Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), A Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, Nashik, India)
Nikhil Ghag (Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), A Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, Nashik, India)
Bhagyashri Raje (Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), A Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, Nashik, India)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 16 February 2024

149

Abstract

Purpose

The agri-food industry is experiencing a revolutionary shift due to the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies to improve efficiency, transparency and sustainability. The importance of agri-food supply chains (AFSC) in promoting sustainability is expanding as the globe struggles with issues including resource scarcity, climate change and population growth. In order to better understand how Industry 4.0 might improve sustainability in a world that is changing quickly, this work aims to focus on identifying various sustainability assessment factors influencing AFSC to increase overall sustainability, minimize resource consumption, cut waste and streamline operations.

Design/methodology/approach

Important sustainability assessment factors are identified from the past academic literature and are then validated using the fuzzy-Delphi method. A method called decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) is used to examine and analyze structural models with complex causal linkages. The results are then validated using sensitivity analysis.

Findings

The factors that emerged as the highest ranked for evaluating the sustainability of Industry 4.0 in AFSC are market competitiveness, and knowledge and skill development, followed by resource efficiency. Industry 4.0 technologies are essential for increasing the marketability of agricultural products because of the major implications of market competitiveness. The significance of knowledge and skill development draws attention to Industry 4.0’s contribution to the promotion of chances for farmers and agricultural employees to increase their capability.

Practical implications

By outlining the nexus between Industry 4.0 technologies and sustainability, the study presents a comprehensive framework that would be relevant for researchers, policymakers and industry stakeholders who want to leverage Industry 4.0 technology to build more sustainable AFSC in the future. The study findings can help the farmers or producers make sensible choices that adhere to sustainability standards and guarantee long-term financial viability.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in the identification of sustainability assessment factors especially for AFSC in the era of digitalization which has not been discussed previously.

Keywords

Citation

Sonar, H., Sharma, I., Ghag, N. and Raje, B. (2024), "Harvesting sustainability: assessing Industry 4.0 in agri-food supply chains", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-10-2023-0443

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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