Over the past 50 years, the intensification of agricultural production activities made an historical contribution to food security worldwide. However, such agricultural intensification heavily relied on tremendous inputs of natural resources, causing serious health and environmental consequences. Therefore, environmental protection and sustainable issues in the food sector have attracted global concerns in the past two decades.
Already in 1990, China’s Ministry of Agriculture created the Green Food program. Meanwhile, the Chinese government adopted a comprehensive and unique certification system for food production which consists of three levels: Safe Food Certification, Green Food Certification and Organic Food Certification. “Green Food” (GF) has been described as “one of the most successful eco-labelling programs in the world” and is widely accepted by consumers in China.
Although the increase in Green Food certification had an impressive impact on land use, food provision, and green agricultural development in China, an equilibrium between the three pillars of a circular economy, i.e., improved economic impact, reduced environmental impact and social equity, has by far not been reached yet. Future agricultural development must include economic viability, social equity and protection of the environment and natural resource base to become sustainable.
This project aims to explore, optimize and assess integrated quantitative models at different scale levels for alternative market-driven (circular) business models in GFSC. The blueprints of logistical network structures are developed from an economic, environmental, and social perspective.
The main research objective is:
1) To develop alternative management concepts for the redesign and transition of existing Green Food structures towards circular, and market driven Green Food Supply Chain (GFSC) networks and based on those structures
2) To develop blueprints of robust quantitative decision support models to optimize and assess these networks.