ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0537.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Safety Research Keywords: blockchain; fresh produce; supply chain; food safety; traceability; internet of things; smart contract
Online: 22 November 2018 (05:19:37 CET)
Blockchain is a data management innovation that allows the linkage of successive records regarding a digital entity, and to store them into a shared, decentralized, distributed and retroactively unchangeable data structure. Each bit of information related to the recorded events contains the public key of the owner, therefore, the whole record is formed by a chain of transactions with blocks of information identifying where the transaction was generated from and its current destination (Nakamoto, 2008). Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, an online currency that was first introduced in 2009. The technology makes it possible to conduct business between members within the network without relying on third parties as guarantors to prove transaction integrity, thus increasing speed and reducing cost of transaction. Moreover, the transparency posed by the technology makes it possible to trace goods and services through all stages, making the technology a unique tool that can be assimilated by, for example, the Agro-food supply chain systems. Specifically, Blockchain is being tested in a pilot project in the UK meat (Beef) industry by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and the slaughterhouses, with IBM Blockchain platform to ensure full transparency and compliance with regulations, (Evenstad, 2018). However, the uptake of Blockchain in the fresh produce (fresh and fresh, short-life processed fruit, vegetables, salads) supply chain is lagging, in the United Kingdom, and remains untested and limited to literature, models and specific case studies in the United States of America and France. The study aims at understanding how prepared stakeholders are in adopting Blockchain for their operations. An inductive qualitative method was employed through non-structured interviews with three companies and one consumer focus group. The interviews were guided by seven (7) open-ended questions, which were unstructured. The collected data was analyzed with axial coding through constant comparative methods. Seven (7) themes were identified as factors influencing the adoption of Blockchain in the fresh produce supply chain in the UK. These are, novelty of the technology, complexity of the fresh produce supply chain in UK, level of product transformation, technological compatibility with operations, cost and value, Customer (retailer) push for adoption, and public/consumers opinion. The adaptation of Blockchain by the current fresh produce supply chain in the UK and the EU at large will come about when concerns on Novelty, and complexity of supply chain systems are fully addressed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0011.v2
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Marketing Keywords: alternative food networks; systematic literature review; sustainability
Online: 29 January 2019 (10:34:36 CET)
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to individuals organizing themselves and managing food systems in an ‘alternative’ and more sustainable way. Such emerging food initiatives are most commonly known as ‘Alternative Food Networks’ (AFNs). However, there is an ongoing debate concerning the extent to which AFNs facilitate social, economic and environmental change. There are criticisms of the overall sustainability promise of AFNs related to sufficiency of impact, possible counter effects and relevance of impacts. Because often empirical studies only focus on specific sustainability issues or AFNs, it has been difficult to develop more robust theories about the relations between diverse AFNs arrangements and sustainability. Thus, the aim of this paper is to contribute towards reducing this knowledge gap through a systematic literature review on AFNs in relation to sustainability. We summarize main methodological approaches, types of AFNs studied and sustainability dimensions addressed in literature to date. Findings serve as reference to propose opportunities for future research regarding sustainability in AFNs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0786.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: Precision agriculture; Intention to adopt a technology; Attitudes towards the use of technology; Technology acceptance model; Variable rate irrigation; Fruit production; Grapevine production
Online: 31 December 2020 (10:10:50 CET)
Irrigated agriculture determines large blue water withdrawals, and it is considered a key intervention area to reach sustainable development objectives. Precision agriculture technologies have the potential to mitigate water resource depletion that often characterizes conventional agricultural approaches. This study investigates the factors influencing farmers' intentions to adopt variable rate irrigation (VRI) technology. The Technology Acceptance Model 3 (TAM-3) was employed as a theoretical framework to design a survey to identify the factors influencing farmers' decision-making process when adopting VRI. Data were gathered through quantitative face-to-face interviews with a sample of 138 fruit and grapevine producers from the Northeast of Italy (Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Data were analyzed using partial least squares path modelling (PLS-PM). The results highlight that personal attitudes, such as perceived usefulness and subjective norm, positively influence the intention to adopt VRI. Also, the perceived ease of use positively affects intention, but it is moderated by subject experience.