Title: Sustainability perceptions and actions of Italian agri-food firms

Authors: Adele Coppola; Sara Ianuario

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Sciences - Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 96, 80055 Portici (Naples), Italy ' Department of Agricultural Sciences - Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 96, 80055 Portici (Naples), Italy

Abstract: In recent years, corporate sustainability has become a new business paradigm. Consequently, companies develop new values, new strategies and new institutional arrangements, redefining their roles and relationship. This paper aims at analysing how firms intend sustainability and implement it in their business. In particular, the study examines the sustainability strategies undertaken by the Italian producer organisations (POs) operating in the fruit and vegetable (F&V) sector. Data on Italian POs, collected by means of a web-administered questionnaire, have been used in two hierarchical cluster analyses carried out respectively on variables related to the perception of sustainability issue and to the implemented sustainability strategies. The relationship between the groups of POs characterised by a different propensity toward ethical and environmental aspects, on one side, and different sustainability actions, on the other side, can be considered as the starting point in order to understand the driving factors of the different POs' sustainability strategies.

Keywords: corporate sustainability; agri-food sector; producers organisations; cluster analysis; business strategy; Italy; sustainability perceptions; agribusiness; sustainable development; fruit and vegetables.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2015.072693

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2015 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.205 - 220

Available online: 24 Oct 2015 *

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