Purpose: The adoption of traceability systems (TS) and sustainability programmes responds to different objectives amongst which the companies' need to be considered legitimate; hence, the aims of this study are first, to identify what is the relationship between traceability and sustainability in the food supply chain (FSC); and, second, to characterize the legitimacy-seeking purposes – i.e. moral, cognitive or pragmatic – driving companies to implement TS along with sustainability initiatives. Design/methodology/approach: This study analyses the coffee supply chain (SC), a globally dispersed commodity chain, where traceability initiatives usually respond to mandatory and voluntary quality standards and certifications of origin. The study involves nine cases at different stages of the coffee SC. Findings: This study provides a taxonomy of the TS applied in the coffee SC. In addition, three main approaches to traceability for sustainability (TfS) are found in the coffee SC: synergistic, complementary or disconnected. Findings also reveal how traceability responds to different legitimacy-seeking objectives while triggering or complementing sustainability practices. Five research propositions and related directions for further investigations are elaborated from the results of this study. Originality/value: This study explores rather limited studied area, investigating how companies in a food commodity chain address traceability and sustainability together while seeking legitimacy in the market. Moreover, the study is grounded on legitimacy theory, thus adding robustness to the analysis.

Traceability for sustainability: seeking legitimacy in the coffee supply chain

Leon Bravo V.;Ciccullo F.;Caniato F.
2022

Abstract

Purpose: The adoption of traceability systems (TS) and sustainability programmes responds to different objectives amongst which the companies' need to be considered legitimate; hence, the aims of this study are first, to identify what is the relationship between traceability and sustainability in the food supply chain (FSC); and, second, to characterize the legitimacy-seeking purposes – i.e. moral, cognitive or pragmatic – driving companies to implement TS along with sustainability initiatives. Design/methodology/approach: This study analyses the coffee supply chain (SC), a globally dispersed commodity chain, where traceability initiatives usually respond to mandatory and voluntary quality standards and certifications of origin. The study involves nine cases at different stages of the coffee SC. Findings: This study provides a taxonomy of the TS applied in the coffee SC. In addition, three main approaches to traceability for sustainability (TfS) are found in the coffee SC: synergistic, complementary or disconnected. Findings also reveal how traceability responds to different legitimacy-seeking objectives while triggering or complementing sustainability practices. Five research propositions and related directions for further investigations are elaborated from the results of this study. Originality/value: This study explores rather limited studied area, investigating how companies in a food commodity chain address traceability and sustainability together while seeking legitimacy in the market. Moreover, the study is grounded on legitimacy theory, thus adding robustness to the analysis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1214150
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