What exactly is a 'sustainable apple'? Research of producers' and consumers' sustainability discourses of farmer profitability, apple quality, consumer convenience and emissions to construct sustainable apple (S)FSCs

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Food systems are one of the main contributors to climate change and other socio-economic and ecological pressures. A variety of short food supply chains (SFSCs) emerged in the last decades as a counter discourse to conventional globalized food supply chains (FSCs). Reviews of SFSC initiatives result in a broad variety of conceptualisations and categorisations. This research is a deep dive into sustainable apple supply chains conducted for SFSC initiative ‘Onze Markt’, a cooperative food brand that sells cooperative products at the supermarket level to create more transparent and sustainable SFSCs. Interviews are conducted to discover perceptions on sustainable apple production across the entire food supply chain. To integrate the consumer side of the supply chain observations and surveys are conducted in two Dutch supermarket chains. Sustainability is operationalized using a combination of the three-pillar sustainability framework and critical discourse analysis to discuss issues of farmer profitability, apple quality, consumer convenience and GHG emissions across the three dimensions of discourses: text, discursive practice, social practice Keywords: sustainability, food system transformation, SFSC, food production, consumer cooperative
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