the case of the sustainable agriculture initiative
Over the past 20 years the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained momentum in business practices and strategies. In the agribusiness sector, the need for CSR integration has recently triggered a number of private sector led initiatives that should contribute to sustainable agricultural practices. Consequently we emphasize that for managing innovation processes for sustainability and their institutional context, the food sustainability discourse also needs to investigate the state of the art of CSR in agribusiness. Based on a model to compare and contrast accountability standards we analyse the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform and its principles. We conclude that over the past 5 years agribusiness corporations have become more pro-active in addressing sustainability concerns, and mainstream initiatives start to compete with the traditional niche markets. The SAI was founded by three big players in the food industry, and represents a global initiative among a number of private-sector driven institutional innovations for the sustainability transformation of the mainstream parts of the sector. In order to evaluate and exploit their potential for sustainable development, we advise scholars, policy makers, and managers to not only address questions about legitimacy and stakeholder involvement, but also take strategic objectives into account.
Journal on Chain and Network Science, 2012, Vol 12, Issue 2, p. 151-165