Short food supply chain initiatives and their potential for sustainability in São Paulo state

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Betiol, Luciana Stocco
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This research paper aims at bringing a comprehension on the potential of replication of initiatives based on the Short Food Supply Chain in Brazil. The reduction of the distance between the producer and the end consumer as well as the limitation of intermediaries to one, are strategies claiming to be more economically, environmentally and socially responsible for Food Supply Chain, in other words more sustainable. The geographic location chosen for questioning the feasibility of implementing such initiatives is the São Paulo state, due to its level of economic and human development compared to other regions. In order to understand the challenges and the opportunities of the sector in São Paulo state, the paper highlights the main characteristics and trends of the Agribusiness sector, then the need for more sustainable practices and defines the Short Food Value Chain and its outcomes. The first part of this research aims at giving a theoretical panorama on the potential for sustainability of SFSC and the second part is a on-the-field interview collection to capture the potential in a determined geographic area. For the interview conduction, specialists of the Food Supply Chain were identified: producers, sellers and market influencers. The final discussions draw succinctly a comparison between the literature review and the reality given by on-the-field players enlightening the opportunities and challenges in São Paulo state. Western countries make the development of SFSC initiatives embryonic in Brazil. Nevertheless, the potential is growing in São Paulo state thanks to the presence of a green belt around the main urban centers, the development of active groups of interests promoting the benefits of a more sustainable food sector and the market opportunity of growing differentiated products. São Paulo seems to have the better inner conditions to implement and operate more sustainable Food Supply Chains in Brazil.