UK food sustainability and global food supply chains: a sustainability impact study of Ghana's fresh vegetable exports to the UK

Aikins, E.F., 2023. UK food sustainability and global food supply chains: a sustainability impact study of Ghana's fresh vegetable exports to the UK. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The purpose of this research is to explore the opportunities for reducing sustainability implications associated with the UK's global food supply chains by analysing Ghana's fresh vegetables exports. Existing literature assesses sustainability implications focusing on the traditional sustainability dimensions; namely, the environmental, social, and economic dimensions. Further, studies on the assessment of the UK food sustainability are yet to consider sustainability concerns generated by global food sources. To facilitate a holistic evaluation of the UK's global food supply chains and propagate its vision of global leadership in food sustainability, there is a need to consider all other relevant sustainability dimensions and their impacts associated with the activities and operations of global food suppliers. Case study data involving interviews and focus groups, together with survey data, are obtained from producers of Ghanaian fresh vegetables, such as smallholder farmers, outgrowers, local farmers, and exporters. The interviews and focus groups are first analysed using NVivo 11 software, following a thematic approach. Multilinear Regression (MLR) is performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyse the survey, in order to examine the relationship between sustainable food supply chains (sustainable FSC) and sustainability dimensions identified from the thematic analysis of the interviews and focus groups.

These findings indicate that six sustainability dimensions and their associated impacts are important in analysing Ghana's fresh vegetable exports to the UK. These are environmental, social, and economic dimensions, regulatory frameworks, collaboration, and producers' complexities in developing sustainable food supply chains (sustainable FSC). Interestingly, the survey results suggest that four of these dimensions are statistically significant; these are environmental, social, regulatory frameworks, and collaboration. The survey further revealed that an increase in regulatory frameworks and mechanisms can reduce sustainable FSC; whereas an increase in the practices and activities of the environmental, social, and collaborative dimensions increases sustainable FSC, thus improving overall sustainability. Revelations and findings from both the thematic and survey analysis were utilised to develop, test and validate the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) model (thus, a conceptual framework of the study).

This study contributes to the body of knowledge in several ways. To theory, an SIA model is suggested, demonstrating the capture of all important sustainability dimensions; namely, environmental, economic, social, regulatory, collaboration, and complexities of food supply chains. It extends the discussion on sustainability impact assessments and sustainability development and encourages research in sustainability assessment. In practice, this SIA model can facilitate easy capture, examination, and evaluation of all relevant sustainability implications and allow new insights into the development and assessment of the stream of sustainability development.

Among many other implications such as promoting collaboration, policymakers need to encourage FairTrade for producers in developing countries, and regulatory mechanisms should be re-designed to enhance profitability by using simple conformity and economic incentives. Further, food trade partners and FSC professionals should encourage smart strategies and technologies to enhance logistics that minimise food waste and energy consumption, while boosting producers' welfare. Moreover, governments and policymakers should ensure that the sustainability concerns of overseas countries are captured in food policies and strategies to help facilitate global leadership in food sustainability.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Aikins, E.F.
Date: May 2023
Rights: This research report is the intellectual property of the author. Users may copy up to 5 per cent of the work for private study, or non-commercial or personal research. Any further re-use of the information captured within this report should be fully and appropriately referenced, citing the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Any queries or requests for any further use, or if a more substantial copy is needed, should contact the owners (s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 05 Sep 2023 15:02
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2023 14:59

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