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Critical success and risk factors for circular business models valorising agricultural waste and by-products

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  • Mechthild Donner

    (UMR MoISA - Montpellier Interdisciplinary center on Sustainable Agri-food systems (Social and nutritional sciences) - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - CIHEAM-IAMM - Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier - CIHEAM - Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement)

  • Anne Verniquet

    (Sofies SA)

  • Jan Broeze

    (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research - WUR - Wageningen University and Research [Wageningen])

  • Katrin Kayser

    (International Biogas and Bioenergy Competence Center - Partenaires INRAE, IBBK Fachgruppe Biogas GmbH)

  • Hugo de Vries

    (UMR IATE - Ingénierie des Agro-polymères et Technologies Émergentes - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - UM - Université de Montpellier - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement)

Abstract

For a transition from a linear, ‘take-make-dispose' economy to a sustainable usage of all constituents of renewable resources in cascading and circular pathways, new business models valorising streams that are currently considered as waste are needed. The aim of this article is to understand critical success and risk factors of eco-innovative business models that contribute to a circular economy via agricultural unavoidable waste or by-products valorisation. 39 cases were studied focusing on agricultural side stream conversion into valuable products. Semi-structured interviews were performed and secondary data collected. Cases were analysed according to types of initiatives, main objectives, resources and valorisation pathways, as well as external and internal factors that have influenced the businesses over time. Following success and risk factor categories are identified: (1) technical and logistic, (2) economic, financial and marketing, (3) organisational and spatial, (4) institutional and legal, (5) environmental, social and cultural. Herein, specific factors for the agricultural sector are innovative conversion technologies, flexible in and out logistics, joint investments in R&D, price competitiveness for bio-based products, partnerships with research organisations, space availability, subsidies, agricultural waste management regulations, local stakeholder involvement and acceptance of bio-based production processes. Insights from this study can help farmers and agribusiness managers by defining and adapting their strategies within their local contexts. They also show that for shifting from linear agro-food chains to a circular system, individual businesses need to evolve towards more dynamic and integrated business models, in which the macro-environment sets the boundary conditions for successful operations.

Suggested Citation

  • Mechthild Donner & Anne Verniquet & Jan Broeze & Katrin Kayser & Hugo de Vries, 2021. "Critical success and risk factors for circular business models valorising agricultural waste and by-products," Post-Print hal-03004851, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03004851
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105236
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03004851
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    3. Mechthild Donner & Ivana Radić, 2021. "Innovative Circular Business Models in the Olive Oil Sector for Sustainable Mediterranean Agrifood Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(5), pages 1-21, February.
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    8. Yuan Shen & Linlin Shi & Yueyue Tao & Haihou Wang & Changying Lu & Siyuan Li & Mingxing Shen, 2022. "Sustainability Evaluation and Optimization on the Modern Agro-Pastoral Circular System Integrating Emergy Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(9), pages 1-18, April.
    9. G. Venkatesh, 2022. "Circular Bio-economy—Paradigm for the Future: Systematic Review of Scientific Journal Publications from 2015 to 2021," Circular Economy and Sustainability,, Springer.
    10. Mechthild Donner & Ivana Radić, 2021. "Innovative circular business models in the olive oil sector for sustainable mediterranean agrifood systems," Post-Print hal-03158870, HAL.
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    Keywords

    Circular economy; Bioeconomy; Business models; Success factors; Agricultural waste valorisation;
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