Sustainability has become a concern in transportation of food. This paper provides an analysis of transportation sustainability performance using fuzzy logic. Recognizing the lack of evidence for claiming that “local food” is more sustainable, the challenge before transportation was how to evaluate two opposed dairy distribution systems - local and cross-country. The proposed model presented in this paper compromises four criteria – resource depletion, climate impact, economy and society with a total of 13 indicators into one transportation sustainability index. The model was validated for two dairy products from data presented by four dairy plants representing 32% of total raw milk processed annually in Serbia. The novelty of this approach lies in identifying economic and social factors applicable to local and big dairy companies. Findings suggest that big dairy plants with a developed distribution system, joint with social and economic indicators have better results in terms of transportation sustainability. As a conclusion, ideas hidden behind term “localism” in food systems in relation to transportation impacts may need to be reconsidered. The results indicate that this model is capable of assessing transportation sustainability and has practical relevance in the food/dairy sector. The strength of this approach is its practical applicability and the ability for researchers to deploy this model to other food sectors.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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