Review of Professional Management
issue front

Tribhuvan Nath1, Shrestha2 and Priya Sharma3

First Published 8 Jul 2022.
Article Information Volume 20, Issue 1 June 2022
Corresponding Author:

Shrestha, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Balicha Campus, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India.

1 Institute of Management Studies, RGSC, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

2 Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Balicha Campus, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

3 Independent Researcher, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India

Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-Commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed.


The circular economy has emerged as a new paradigm for sustainability. The ‘take-make-reutilise’ concept of the circular model is considered to be far more superior to the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ linear model. The concepts of circular economy and sustainability are closely related; the circular economy is considered a driver to more sustainable business. Our existing global food system is highly unsustainable. Roughly, one-third of the total food produced gets lost or waste at different stages of food supply chain. Further, the agriculture sector is also a victim of and a major contributor to climate change. Hence, our food system is in urgent need of transformation from the existing unsustainable to be made more sustainable and healthier. So, it is critically important to adopt circular economy-driven sustainability practices in the food industry and its supply chain. While there have been many studies in the past which built conceptual knowledge on the circular economy and sustainable food business practices, rarely any study attempts to investigate the perception of food business managers/executives by integrating both concepts.

The article analyses the circular-economy driven sustainability adoption practices in the food supply chain. Based on the survey of managers and business executives of 26 selected food companies in India, the study investigates the managerial perception on sustainability adoption practices in food supply chain. The findings indicate that food business managers and executives believe that adoption of sustainable practices is extremely important for food business sustainability. However, their sustainability adoption practices were found to be on moderate level across the food supply chain. The major recommendation is that the government should take the proactive approach to educate the agri-food industry particularly the traditional food enterprises including SMEs about the benefits of the adoption of circular economy and sustainability approaches. Policy-based initiatives are required to develop the enabling conditions in terms of provision of necessary infrastructure, delivering technical-know, promoting innovations and extending the financial support for successful adoption of circular economy-driven sustainability practices by agri-food sector and its supply chain.


Food production, sustainable production, food supply chain, circular economy, managerial perceptions, sustainability in emerging markets


Akar, Ð. (2021). Sustainable food processing. Sustainability, 13, 9628.

Accorsi, R., Baruffaldi, G., & Manzini, R. (2020). A closed-loop packaging network design model to foster infinitely reusable and recyclable containers in food industry. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 24, 48–61.

Ahi, P., & Searcy, C. (2013). A comparative literature analysis of definitions for green and sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 52, 329–341.

Ahmad, S. (2015). Green human resource management: Policies and practices. Cogent Business & Management, 2(1), 1–13.

Ahmed, M. M. A. W., & Abd El Monem, N. (2020). Sustainable and green transportation for better quality of life case study greater Cairo–Egypt. HBRC Journal, 16(1), 17–37.

Akkerman, R., Farahani, P., & Grunow, M. (2010). Quality, safety and sustainability in food distribution: A review of quantitative operations management approaches and challenges. OR Spectrum, 32(4), 863–904.

Albuquerque, T. L. M., Mattos, C. A., Scur, G., & Kissimoto, K. (2019). Life cycle costing and externalities to analyze circular economy strategy: Comparison between aluminium packaging and tinplate. Journal of Cleaner Production, 234, 477–486.

Antoniou, N., Monlau, F., Sambusiti, C., Ficara, E., Barakat, A., & Zabaniotou, A. (2019). Contribution to circular economy options of mixed agricultural wastes management: Coupling anaerobic digestion with gasification for enhanced energy and material recovery. Journal of Cleaner Production, 209, 505–514.

Arora, A., Arora, A. S., Sivakumar, K., & Burke, G. (2020). Strategic sustainable purchasing, environmental collaboration, and organizational sustainability performance: The moderating role of supply base size. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 25(6), 709–728.

Baker, B., Omer, A., Oldham, L., & Burger, L. (2017). Natural resource conservation in agriculture. Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Bank, R., & Murphy, R. (2013). Warehousing Sustainability Standards Development. 20th Advances in Production Management Systems (APMS), State College, PA, United States, pp. 294–301.

Banerjee, S. B. (2001). Managerial perceptions of corporate environmentalism: Interpretations from industry and strategic implications for organizations. Journal of Management Studies, 38(4), 489–513.

Barros, M. V., Salvador, R., do Prado, G. F., de Francisco, A. C., & Piekarski, C. M. (2021). Circular economy as a driver to sustainable businesses. Cleaner Environmental Systems, 2, 100006.

Berrone, P., Fosfuri, A., Gelabert, L., & Gomez-Mejia, L. R. (2013). Necessity as the mother of green inventions: Institutional pressures and environmental innovations. Strategic Management Journal, 34(8), 891–909.

Birthal, P. S., Joshi, P. K., & Gulati, A. (2005). Vertical coordination in high value food commodities: Implications for smallholders [MTID Discussion Paper No. 85]. IFPRI.

Boon, E. K., & Anuga, S. W. (2020). Circular economy and its relevance for improving food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Ghana. Materials Circular Economy, 2(5).

Bordoloi, B. (2016). Curbing food wastage in a hungry world. https://www.thehindu

Borrello, M., Caracciolo, F., Lombardi, A., Pascucci, S., & Cembalo, L. (2017). Consumers’ perspective on circular economy strategy for reducing food waste. Sustainability, 9(1), 141.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017). Corporate sustainability and responsibility: Creating value for business, society and the environment. AJSSR, 2, 59–74.

Casarejos, F., Bastos, C. R., Rufin, C., & Frota, M. N. (2018). Rethinking packaging production and consumption vis-a-vis circular economy: A case study of compostable cassava starch based material. Journal of Cleaner Production, 201, 1019–1028.

Chand, R., & Raju, S. S. (2008). Instability in Indian agriculture during different phases of technology and policy [Discussion Paper No. NPP 01/2008].

Coste-Maniere, I., Croizet, K., Sette, E., Fanien, A., Guezguez, H., & Lafforgue, H. (2019). Circular economy: A necessary (r)evolution. In S. S. Muthu (Ed.), Circular economy in textiles and apparel (pp. 123–148). Woodhead Publishing.

Curioso, G., & Brooke, W. (2018). Sustainable logistics & supply chain management: Challenges & future outlook [ISCM 7920 Seminar Paper Research]. University of Wisconsin.

Delabre, I., Rodriguez, L. O., Smallwood, J. M., Scharlemann, J. P., Alcamo, J., Antonarakis, A. S., Rowhani, P., Hazell, R. J., Aksnes, D. L., Balvanera, P., & Lundquist, C. J. (2021). Actions on sustainable food production and consumption for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Science Advances, 7(12), eabc8259.

de Visser-Amundson, A., & Kleijnen, M. (2020). Nudging in food waste management: Where sustainability meets cost-effectiveness. In E. Närvänen, N. Mesiranta, M. Mattila, & A. Heikkinen (Eds.), Food waste management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Difrancesco, R. M., Luzzini, D., & Patrucco, A. S. (2022). Purchasing realized absorptive capacity as the gateway to sustainable supply chain management. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 42(5), 603–636

Dillman, D. A. (2011). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method: 2007 update with new internet, visual, and mixed-mode guide. John Wiley & Sons.

Donner, M., Gohier, R., & Vries, H. (2020). A new circular business model typology for creating value from agro-waste. Science of the Total Environment, 716, 1–11.

Dora, M. (2019). Collaboration in a circular economy: Learning from the farmers to reduce food waste. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 33(4), 769–789.

Drejeris, R., & Samuolaitis, M. (2020). Development of sustainable distribution logistics system. Research for Rural Development, 35, 169–175.

Ekanayake, E., Jayatilaka, P. R., & Kulatunga, A. K. (2012). Incorporating sustainable concepts for product design, development and manufacturing [Conference Paper]. International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Elkington, J. (1994). Towards the sustainable corporation: Win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. California Management Review, 36, 90–100.

FAO. (2011). Global food losses and food waste: Extent, causes and prevention.

FAO. (2013). Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural resources.

FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, & WHO. (2020). The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2020. FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO.

Feng, K., & Huatuco, L. H. (2022). Sustainable purchasing practices: A study of fresh food SMEs in Yorkshire. In S. G. Scholz, R. J. Howlett, & R. Setchi (Eds.), Sustainable design and manufacturing (pp. 149–158). Springer.

Fichtinger, J., Ries, J., Grosse, E., & Baker, P. (2015). Assessing the environmental impact of integrated inventory and warehouse management. International Journal of Production Economics, 170(Part C), 717–729.

Filippini, R. (1997). Operations management research: Some reflections on evolution, models and empirical studies in OM. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 17(7), 655–670.

Fogarassy, C., & Finger, D. (2020). Theoretical and practical approaches of circular economy for business models and technological solutions. Resources, 9(1), 76.

Forza, C. (2002). Survey research in operations management: A process-based perspective. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 22, 152–194.

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). The Circular Economy: A new sustainability paradigm Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757–768.

Genovese, A., Acquaye, A. A., Figueroa, A., & Koh, S. C. L. (2017). Sustainable supply chain management and the transition towards a circular economy: Evidence and some applications. Omega, 66(Part B), 344–357.

Gong, M., & Kong, Y. (2013). The implementation of green logistics in supermarkets in Sweden and China: A case study for ICA MAXI and JIA JIAYUE. University of Gavle.

Gonzalez-Boubeta, I., Vázquez, M. F., Caamaño, P. D., & Prado, J. C. P. (2018). Economic and environmental packaging sustainability: A case study. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 11(2), 229–238.

Han, J., Heshmati, A., & Rashidghalam, M. (2020). Circular economy business models with a focus on servitization. Sustainability, 12, 1–17.

Handayati, Y., Simatupang, T. M., & Perdana, T. (2015). Agri-food supply chain coordination: The state-of-the-art and recent developments. Logistics Research, 8(5), 1–15.

Handfield, R., Walton, S. V., Sroufe, R., & Melnyk, S. A. (2002). Applying environmental criteria to supplier assessment: A study in the application of the analytical hierarchy process. European Journal of Operational Research, 141(1), 70–87.

Hawkes, C., & Voegele, J. (2018). Our food system is broken. Here are 3 ways to fix it. The World Economic Forum.

Hibberts, M., Johnson, R., & Hudson, K. (2012). Common survey sampling techniques. In G. Lior (Ed.), Handbook of survey methodology for the social sciences (pp. 53–74). Springer.

Hollander, M. C. den, Bakker, C. A., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). Product design in a circular economy: Development of a typology of key concepts and terms. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 517–525.

Huang, X., Hu, Z-P., Liu, C-S., Yu, D-J., & Yu, L-F. (2016). The relationships between regulatory and customer pressure, green organizational responses, and green innovation performance. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 3423–3433.

Hopkins M. S., Townend, A., Khayat, Z., Balagopal, B., Reeves, M., & Berns, M. (2009). The business of sustainability: What it means to managers now. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(1), 20.

Huang, X., Tu, J-C., & Hung, S-J. (2016). Developing a decision model of sustainable product design and development from product servicizing in Taiwan. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(5), 1285–1302.

Huntjens, P. (2021). Transition to a sustainable and healthy agri-food system. In Towards a natural social contract (pp. 139–157). Springer.

Jia, F., & Jiang, Y. (2018). Sustainable global sourcing: A systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis. Sustainability, 10(3), 595.

Johanson, G. A., & Brooks, G. P. (2010). Initial scale development: Sample size for pilot studies. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 70, 394–400.

Jones, K., Raper, K. C., Whipple, J. M., & Mollenkopf, D. (2007). Commodity-procurement strategies of food companies: A case study. Journal of Food Distribution Research, 38(3), 37–53.

Kalmykova, Y., Sadagopan, M., & Rosado, L. (2018). Circular economy: From review of theories and practices to development of implementation tools. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 135, 190–201

Kaza, S., Yao, L. C., Bhada-Tata, P., & Woerden, F. van. (2018). What a waste 2.0: A global snapshot of solid waste management to 2050. Urban Development; World Bank.

Khodaverdi, R., & Jafarian, A. (2013). A fuzzy multi criteria approach for measuring sustainability performance of a supplier based on triple bottom line approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 47, 345–354.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, 221–232.

Knorr, D., Augustin, M. A., & Tiwari, B. (2020). Advancing the role of food processing for improved integration in sustainable food chains. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, 34.

Korsunova, A., Horn, S., & Vainio, A. (2021). Understanding circular economy in everyday life: Perceptions of young adults in the Finnish context. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 26, 759–769.

Lazaridesa, H. N. (2011). Food processing technology in a sustainable food supply chain. Procedia Food Science, 1, 1918–1923.

Limoubpratum, C., Shee, H., & Ahsan, K. (2015). Sustainable distribution through coopetition strategy. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 18(5), 424–441.

Mahmoudi, M., & Parviziomran, I. (2020). Reusable packaging in supply chains: A review of environmental and economic impacts, logistics system designs, and operations management. International Journal of Production Economics, 228, 107730.

Malhotra, M. K., & Grover, V. (1998). An assessment of survey research in POM: From constructs to theory. Journal of Operations Management, 16(17), 407–425.

Malik, A., Sharma, P., Vinu, A., & Karakoti, A. (2022). Circular economy adoption by SMEs in the emerging markets: Towards a multilevel conceptual framework. Journal of Business Research, 142, 605–619.

Malorgio, G., & Marangon, F. (2021). Agricultural business economics: The challenge of sustainability. Agricultural and Food Economics, 9, 6.

Martindale, W., Finnigan, T., & Needham, L. (2013). Current concepts and applied research in sustainable food processing. In Sustainable food processing (pp. 9–38).

Mattas, K., Tsakiridou, E., Karelakis, C., Lazaridou, D., Gorton, M., Filipovi, J., Hubbard, C., Saidi, M., Stojkovic, D., Tocco, B., & Tregear, A. (2022). Strengthening the sustainability of European food chains through quality and procurement policies. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 120, 248–253.

Miah, J. H., Griffiths, A., McNeill, R., Poonaji, I., Martin, R., Morse, S., Yang, A., & Sadhukhan, J. (2015). Creating an environmentally sustainable food factory: A case study of the lighthouse project at Nestlé. Procedia CIRP, 26, 229–234.

Miemczyk, J., Johnsen, T., & Macquet, M. (2012). Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Management: A structured literature review of definitions and measures at the dyad, supply chain and network levels. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 17(5), 1–20.

Migliore, M., Talamo, C., & Paganin, G. (2020). Circular economy and sustainable procurement: The role of the attestation of conformity. In Strategies for circular economy and cross-sectoral exchanges for sustainable building products (pp. 159–173). Springer.

Moktadir, M. A., Rahman, T., Rahman, M. H., Ali, S. M., & Paul, S. K. (2018). Drivers to sustainable manufacturing practices and circular economy: A perspective of leather industries in Bangladesh. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, 1366–1380.

Molin, E., Martin, M., & Björklund, A. (2021). Addressing sustainability within public procurement of food: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 13, 13395.

Molina-Besch, K., Wikstrm, F., & Williams, H. (2019). The environmental impact of packaging in food supply chains: Does life cycle assessment of food provide the full picture The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 24, 37–50.

Nath, T. (2013). Managing risks in agricultural supply chain in India (Unpublished doctoral thesis).

Neuhold, M. (2022, February). Why the circular economy is transforming traditional logistics. EY.

Ojo, E. M., Mbohwa, C., & Akinlabi, E. T. (2015). Sustainability: Competitive advantage Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Operations Excellence and Service Engineering Orlando, Florida, USA, 10–11 September 2015.

Parwez, S. (2013). Food supply chain management in Indian agriculture: Issues, opportunities and further research. African Journal of Business Management, 14(8), 572–581.

Perotti, S., Prataviera, B. L., & Melacini, M. (2022). Assessing the environmental impact of logistics sites through CO2eq footprint computation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 1–16.

Piyathanavong, V., Garza-Reyes, J., & Kumar, V. (2019). The adoption of operational environmental sustainability approaches in the Thai manufacturing sector. Journal of Cleaner Production, 220, 507–528.

Qaiser, F. H., Ahmed, K., Sykora, M., Choudhary, A., & Simpson, M. (2017). Decision support systems for sustainable logistics: A review and bibliometric analysis. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 117(1), 1376–1388.

Rathinamoorthy, R. (2019). Circular fashion. In S. S. Muthu (Ed.), Circular economy in textiles and apparel (pp. 13–48). Woodhead Publishing.

Reikea, D., Vermeulena, W. J. V., & Witjesb, S. (2018). The circular economy: New or refurbished as CE 3.0—Exploring controversies in the conceptualization of the circular economy through a focus on history and resource value retention options. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 135, 246–264

Rizos, V., Behrens, A., Van der Gaast, W., Hofman, E., Ioannou, A., Kafyeke, T., Flamos, A., Rinaldi, R., Papadelis, S., Hirschnitz-Garbers, M., & Topi, C. (2016). Implementation of circular economy business models by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and enablers. Sustainability, 8(11), 1212

Roehrich, J., Hoejmose, S. U., & Overland, V. (2017). Driving green supply chain management performance through supplier selection and value internalisation: A self-determination theory perspective. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(4), 489–509.

Russell, S. (2014). Everything you need to know about agricultural emissions. World Resources Institute.

Saada, R. (2020). Green transportation in green supply chain management. In T. Bányai & I. Kaczmar (Eds), Green supply chain: Competitiveness and sustainability.

Saroha, R. (2014). Green logistics & its significance in modern day systems. International Review of Applied Engineering Research, 4(1), 89–92.

Sartal, A., Bellas, R., Mejías, A. M., & García-Collado, A. (2020). The sustainable manufacturing concept, evolution and opportunities within Industry 4.0: A literature review. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, 12(5), 1–17.

Sbihi, A., & Eglese, R. (2007). Combinatorial optimization and green logistics. Annals of Operations Research, 175(1), 159–175.

Schmid, N., & Kutzner, M. (2021). Procurement in a circular economy-Benefits beyond sustainability. Deloitte Publication.

Schönhart, M., Penker, M., & Schmid, E. (2008). Sustainable local food production and consumption: Challenges for implementation and research. 8th European IFSA Symposium, 6–10 July 2008, Clermont-Ferrand (France).

Seb. (2021). The circular economy: How closing the loop can upgrade procurement.

Sharma, Y. K., Mangla, S. K., Patil, P. P., & Liu, S. (2019). When challenges impede the process: For circular economy-driven sustainability practices in food supply chain. Management Decision, 57(4), 995–1017.

Silva, J. G. D. (2016). Food losses and waste: A challenge to sustainable development.

Silva, N., & Pålsson, H. (2022). Industrial packaging and its impact on sustainability and circular economy: A systematic literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 333, 130165.

Sousa-Zomer, T. T., Magalhães, L., Zancul, E., & Cauchick-Miguel, P. A. (2018). Exploring the challenges for circular business implementation in manufacturing companies: An empirical investigation of a pay-per-use service provider. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 135, 3–13.

Srivastava, S. K. (2007). Green supply chain management: A state of the art literature review. International Journal of Management Review, 9(1), 53–80.

Sudeeptha, I., & Galahitiyawe, N. K. (2020, December). The impact of stakeholder pressure on the adoption of green practices by manufacturing firms. Conference session presented at 7th International Conference on Business Management (ICoBM), Lahore, Pakistan.

Tengberg, A., & Torheim, S-I. B. (2007). The role of land degradation in the agriculture and environment nexus. In M. V. K. Sivakumar & N. Ndiang’ui (Eds.), Climate and land degradation (pp. 267–283). Springer.

Tetra Pak. (2019). Consumer environmental trends report. content/dam/tetrapak/publicweb/my/en/sustainability/tetra-pak-consumer-environmental-trends.pdf

Thiebault, C., & Tonda, E. (2018). Building circularity into our economies through sustainable procurement. UN.

Tikkanen, I. (2014). Procurement and consumption of local and organic food in the catering of a rural town. British Food Journal, 116(3), 419–430.

Vasiliauskas, A. V., Zinkeviciute, V., & Simonyte, E. (2013). Implementation of the concept of green logistics referring to it applications for road freight transport enterprises. Business: Theory and Practice, 14(1), 43–50.

Velenturf, A. P., Archer, S. A., Gomes, H. I., Christgen, B., Lag-Brotons, A. J., & Purnell, P. (2019). Circular economy and the matter of integrated resources. Science of The Total Environment, 689, 963–969.

Vienazindiene, M., Tamuliene, V., & Zaleckien, J. (2021). Green logistics practices seeking development of sustainability: Evidence from Lithuanian transportation and logistics companies. Energies, 14(22), 7500.

Walker, A. M., Opferkuch, K., Roos Lindgreen, E., Raggi, A., Simboli, A., Vermeulen, W. J., Caeiro, S., & Salomone, R. (2021). What is the relation between circular economy and sustainability Answers from frontrunner companies engaged with circular economy practices. Circular Economy and Sustainability, 1–28.

Walker, H., Miemczyk, J., Johnsen, T. E., & Spencer, R. (2012). Sustainable procurement: Past, present and future. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 18(4), 201–206.

Wang, L., & Yang, M. (2008). Green packaging design on the principle of 3R. Packaging Engineering, 29, 162–165.

WBCSD. (2018). Our global food system is unsustainable, unequal, destabilizing and unhealthy. Our-global-food-system-is-unsustainable-unequal-destabilizing-and-unhealthy

Wunderlich, S. M., & Martinez, M. (2018). Conserving natural resources through food loss reduction: Production and consumption stages of the food supply chain. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 6(4), 331–339.

Xiang, L. (2014). Operations management of logistics and supply chain: Issues and directions. Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, 2014, 1–7.

Zanten, H. H. E. van., Ittersum, M. K. van., & De Boer, I. J. M. (2019). The role of farm animals in a circular food system. Global Food Security, 21, 18–22.

Zhong, R., Xu, X., & Wang, L. (2017). Food supply chain management: Systems, implementations, and future research. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 117(9), 2085–2114.

Zsidisin, G. A., & Siferd, S. P. (2001). Environmental purchasing: A framework for theory development. European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 7, 61–73.

Make a Submission Order a Print Copy