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An IFAMR Special Issue - IFAMA Europe 2022
Opportunities and Challenges of EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy

IFAMR Guest Editors

Mariantonietta Fiore, University of Foggia, Italy
Loïc Sauvée, IFAMA Europe Chairman, UniLaSalle, France
Joanna Wiśniewska-Paluszak, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland

IFAMA is actively working to provide opportunities for collaboration among its regional chapters by supporting and recognizing the research of members during IFAMA's annual World Conferences which constitute broad participation from fellow European researchers.

In pursuit of these objectives, IFAMA and the IFAMA European Chapter have decided to publish an annual  IFAMA Europe Special Issue devoted to current topics surrounding European agri-food systems (Sauvée, 2021). 

General Statement

The launch of the Farm-to-Fork (F2F) strategy by the European Commission on 20-May 2020 brings a new perspective for integrating agri-food systems. The strategy is a part of a worldwide project - European Green Deal - challenging to guide Europe towards building a climate neutral continent.

Agriculture and food systems are key drivers of climate change and environmental pollution worldwide. This exposes the need to identify opportunities, challenges, and possible pitfalls of the F2F strategy for European agribusiness and food firms towards climate and natural resources neutralization. The new approach is systemic: it involves all agri-food value chain actors and shareholders – citizens, consumers and businesses. The challenges are based on understanding the complex interrelations between public health, ecosystems, value chains, consumption patterns, and planetary boundaries. The foreseen integration gives rise to theoretical and empirical issues.

In this context, several dimensions appear crucial from a business perspective:

(i) The circularity - the move from line to circularity which brings challenges in terms of quality management standards, procurements arrangements, governance, and skills (both human and technological) for this circular turn,

(ii) The inclusiveness - the renewed roles of farming systems as part of complete sustainable agri-food chains, with the core topic of inclusivity (community, social, ecological, biodiverse-oriented inclusivity) within either existing agri-food business or business models from scratch. The stakeholders’ issues mean the participation of consumers, citizens, third parties, in the governance of innovative agri-food business models,

(iii) The rhythm of change, path-dependency for conventional firms, knowledge, technological and/or organizational lock-in, roles for newcomers and startups in this business model transformation, place and role of existing innovation ecosystems.

This “IFAMA Europe Special Issue” of IFAMR welcomes contributions centered on one country, on inter-European comparisons, on comparisons between European and non-European research cases; as well as on insertion of European agri-food businesses within global value chains linked to sustainability issues. The contributions can also be focused on original theories and methodologies of innovative business models in farm-to-fork approaches.


  • Opportunities for new marketing arrangements with farm supply
  • Innovative techno-marketing standards for circular/inclusive business models
  • Traceability issues of farm-to-fork perspectives
  • Biodiversity and ecology-inclusive business models: critical drivers of changes
  • Open innovation systems and business model innovation in agri-food sectors
  • Business models in developing and developed countries: inclusive business in agriculture and agri-food, integration of sustainable value chains at global levels
  • The urban agri-food systems: forms of innovations and links with circularity
  • The agri-food clusters, in particular, integration and expansion into non-European markets through transversal, cross-sectoral, across boundaries cooperation of strategic European agrifood clusters
  • Digitalization processes: pros and cons of digitalization of agri-food business in the context of the sustainability and territorial development of the F2F strategy
  • Resilience in the context of the F2F EU strategy
  • Greening and greenwashing issues in agri-food business, and limits of the F2F strategy for business

Review Process Protocol

The review process for this Special Issue is two-step process.

Step 1: The IFAMA Europe review committee will select extended abstracts through a double-blind process. Extended abstracts should include the following sections: problem description; methodology; results; managerial implications.

Step 2: Selected extended abstracts will be submitted to the IFAMR Journal for a double-blind review process and will follow the guidelines of regular IFAMR issues.

Special Issue Timeline

15-June 2021: Submission deadline for extended abstracts--approximately 1000 words excluding references.

15-July 2021: 
Feedback to authors on abstracts

1-October 2021: Full paper submission deadline

1-December 2021: Feedback to authors on full papers 

*Articles will be published ‘in press’ as soon as possible after acceptance. The completed issue is expected in early 2022.

Please direct questions and send abstracts (Step 1) to Loïc Sauvée: 

Download this Call


Barth, H., Ulvenblad, P. O., & Ulvenblad, P. (2017). Towards a conceptual framework of sustainable business model innovation in the agri-food sector: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 9(9), 1620.

Bossle, M. B., de Barcellos, M. D., Vieira, L. M., Sauvée, L. (2016). The drivers for adoption of eco-innovation. Journal of Cleaner production, 113, 861-872.

Cingiz, K., & Wesseler, J. (2019). Opportunities and the policy challenges to the circular Agri-Food system. In EU Bio economy Economics and Policies: Volume II (pp. 293-318). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Davies, A. R. (2020). Toward a Sustainable Food System for the European Union: Insights from the Social Sciences. One Earth, 3(1), 27-31.

Donner, M., Gohier, R., & de Vries, H. (2020). A new circular business model typology for creating value from agro-waste. Science of the Total Environment, 716, 137065. European Commission. (2020). Farm to fork strategy: for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. DG SANTE/Unit ‘Food information and composition, food waste”’.

Esposito, B., Sessa, M. R., Sica, D., & Malandrino, O. (2020). Towards circular economy in the Agri-food sector. A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 12(18), 7401.

Fiore, M., Galati, A., Gołębiewski, J., Drejerska, N. (2020). Stakeholders' involvement in establishing sustainable business models: The case of Polish dairy cooperatives, British food journal, 122 (5), 1671-1691.

German, L. A., Bonanno, A. M., Foster, L. C., & Cotula, L. (2020). “Inclusive business” in agriculture: Evidence from the evolution of agricultural value chains. World Development, 134, 105018.

Mowlds, S. (2020). The EU’s farm to fork strategy: Missing links for transformation. Acta Innov, 36, 17-32.

Rodias, E., Aivazidou, E., Achillas, C., Aidonis, D., & Bochtis, D. (2021). Water-Energy-Nutrients Synergies in the Agrifood Sector: A Circular Economy Framework. Energies, 14(1), 159.

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