Evaluating the Transition towards a Circular Economy in the Global Agri-Food Supply Chain


Dr Andrea Genovese, Management School


Prof. David Evans, Department of Geography

Dr Sonal Choudhary, Management School

Dr Estrella Luna-Diez, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Grantham Scholar

The growing effects of urbanisation and overconsumption along with the increasing rate of world population are pushing the Earth’s planetary boundaries beyond its limits. The exponential growth of food waste is becoming a critical global issue, putting additional pressure on the waste-energy-land nexus.

In view of these issues, Circular Economy (CE) is gaining momentum as an alternative to the prevalent linear take-make-disposal consumption model. Defined as an industrial system that is restorative by design, it aims at reaching a closed-loop idealistic state where waste virtually ceases to exist, as materials are re-used and recycled indefinitely. CE aims at extending the life cycle of materials by either slowing, narrowing or closing the resource loops through the 3R value retention options of reduce, reuse and recycle respectively.

This research project sets to explore the compatibility of Circular Economy paradigm within the current economic system. Therefore, it primarily aims at providing a comprehensive view of already adopted CE practices at different supply chain stages as well as the factors inhibiting their adoption. By filling related knowledge gaps, it will assess whether the inherent structural characteristics of European economy can close the loop in order to facilitate the transition towards a circular agri-food economy.