Valorization of side streams in the food supply chain A case study of the adoption of misshapen produce in the Netherlands

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In a context of increasing food insecurity, this thesis introduces a case study that evaluates adoption of misshapen produce by consumers as act to counteract food wastage. Apart from some separate events that report financial benefits, there is little known about what exactly drives adoption of misshapen fruits and vegetables and whether food waste is actually reduced. The potential of this type of valorization of side streams in the food supply chain as business model is assessed by investigating the interplay between human agents and social structures in the social practice of adoption. This interplay is represented in a system dynamics simulation model that is developed and calibrated based on a triangulation of literature, interviews, and observations. In this model, the wide variety of factors that are considered to influence adoption of misshapen produce boil down to a few causal structures that explain the majority of its development. These causal structures connect an acceptance dynamics framework with a supply chain model of vegetable production in the Netherlands. The model is used for testing (combinations of) policies aimed at subsidizing prices, generating food wastage awareness, creating motivation, and developing skills in relation to misshapen produce. Based on the findings from this exploratory research, many directions for further research are given for further exploration of misshapen produce as viable business model and for further development of the concept of adoption dynamics. Keywords: system dynamics; adoption and diffusion; fresh food supply chain; misshapen produce; food wastage
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen