The lack of objective sustainability indicators and measurements leaves the performance of agricultural systems under-valued, limiting the possibility of communicating any evidence about promoting economic, social, and environmental values to food system stakeholders. In this study, a cost-benefit analysis based on the social return on investment (SROI) was designed and applied to five community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives. CSA are local food supply chains becoming popular in recent years, characterised by features such as member volunteer commitment, reduction of synthetic inputs in food production, and shortening of the supply chain to reduce costs and environmental impact. Social and environmental outcomes related to the wider spread of impacts were comprehensively assessed in the study. A participatory assessment with CSA representatives resulted in the incorporation of several ecosystem service (ES) indicators identified from the literature. Findings revealed that the case studies analysed are characterised by a limited but positive socio-environmental performance compared to conventional food supply chains, thereby demonstrating that they can create real value in terms of social gains and mitigation of environmental impacts.

An analytical framework to measure the social return of community-supported agriculture

Medici, Marco
;
Canavari, Maurizio;Castellini, Alessandra
2023

Abstract

The lack of objective sustainability indicators and measurements leaves the performance of agricultural systems under-valued, limiting the possibility of communicating any evidence about promoting economic, social, and environmental values to food system stakeholders. In this study, a cost-benefit analysis based on the social return on investment (SROI) was designed and applied to five community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives. CSA are local food supply chains becoming popular in recent years, characterised by features such as member volunteer commitment, reduction of synthetic inputs in food production, and shortening of the supply chain to reduce costs and environmental impact. Social and environmental outcomes related to the wider spread of impacts were comprehensively assessed in the study. A participatory assessment with CSA representatives resulted in the incorporation of several ecosystem service (ES) indicators identified from the literature. Findings revealed that the case studies analysed are characterised by a limited but positive socio-environmental performance compared to conventional food supply chains, thereby demonstrating that they can create real value in terms of social gains and mitigation of environmental impacts.
2023
Medici, Marco; Canavari, Maurizio; Castellini, Alessandra
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/935035
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