Sustainability in multiple stages of the food supply chain in Italy: practices, performance and reputation

  • Verónica León-BravoEmail author
  • Federico Caniato
  • Maria Caridi


This study’s purposes are threefold. First, to identify the sustainability practices and the motivation behind their implementation across different stages in the chain. Second, to understand the relationship between the sustainability practices in a particular supply chain stage with its operational performances, in the same stage and in other stages. Third, to identify the link between sustainability practices implemented in a particular supply chain stage and reputation in the same stage and in other stages. The study is grounded on the institutional theory and involves multiple cases in four different food supply chain (FSC) stages, in Italy. Findings indicate a varied practice implementation in different stages in the chain, motivated by different institutional pressures, which is in turn related to the company’s performance and reputation aims. This multi-stage study provides a more holistic interpretation of sustainability in the FSC, recognizing the importance of setting appropriate sustainability strategies and goals in each stage.


Sustainable supply chain Food industry Sustainability practices Supply chain performance Company reputation 



The authors would like to offer their special thanks to Dr. Giuseppe Marzano for his very valuable comments and constructive insights during the data analysis and revision of this manuscript. His willingness to generously give his time has been very much appreciated.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Facultad de PosgradosUniversidad de Las Américas- EcuadorQuitoEcuador

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