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Enablers and barriers to circular supply chain management: a decision-support tool in soft wheat bread production

Marco Formentini (Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI), Universita degli Studi di Trento, Trento, Italy)
Luca Secondi (Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-Food and Forest Systems, Universita degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy)
Luca Ruini (Supply Chain Department, Barilla G e R Fratelli, Parma, Italy)
Matteo Guidi (Last Minute Market, Bologna, Italy)
Ludovica Principato (Department of Business Studies, Facoltà di Economia, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Roma, Italy)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 5 August 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

There is a limited understanding of effective strategies for tackling food loss and waste (FLW) following a circular supply chain management approach. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of the FLW Reporting and Accounting Standard for identifying FLW occurrences throughout the agri-food supply chain and facilitate their measurement. Our objective is to describe how this FLW is then reused within a circular economy (CE) perspective, thus enabling companies to implement a circular supply chain approach for effective decision-making based on the concept of waste hierarchies, the 3R and 4R rules.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth analysis of Barilla's soft bread supply chain is provided in this study. By gathering both qualitative and quantitative data, this study investigates the implementation of the FLW standard by (1) identifying the main enablers and obstacles in measuring FLW throughout the entire production system; (2) providing a useful standardized tool for sustainable FLW measurement, minimization and reuse in other agricultural supply chains to enable circular economy approaches and (3) developing a decision-support strategy to use within the company for effective measurement, analysis and reuse according to a CE perspective.

Findings

The analyses carried out throughout Barilla's soft wheat bread supply chain provide an interesting example of a circular management system since almost nothing is lost or wasted while the value of resources is recovered through reuse thanks to a systematic and integrated measurement, representing a basis for effectively minimizing waste. The importance of developing an interconnected supply chain management emerged in order to obtain a comprehensive accounting framework for accurately quantifying and reporting the overall amount of wastage generated in the various phases of food production, paying particular attention to ex ante prevention initiatives and ex-post assessment actions.

Originality/value

An interdisciplinary approach integrating circular economy and supply chain management research streams was adopted in order to develop a decision-support tool that also includes the identification of the main facilitators and obstacles to the implementation of a comprehensive standardized accounting process that would enable companies to reduce-reuse-recycle losses and waste throughout the entire production process. Besides the studies available in the literature, the original of this study is that it focuses on organizational implications related to FLW measurement.

Keywords

Citation

Formentini, M., Secondi, L., Ruini, L., Guidi, M. and Principato, L. (2021), "Enablers and barriers to circular supply chain management: a decision-support tool in soft wheat bread production", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-02-2021-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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