The role of short food supply chains in advancing the global agenda for sustainable food systems transitions

Mara Petruzzelli*, R. Ihle, S. Colitti, Matteo Vittuari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Food systems are experiencing a unique momentum of transformation guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP). The potential of short food supply chains to contribute to this transition both in urban and rural environments has been broadly acknowledged by policymakers and scientists. Yet no exhaustive evidence exists on their capacity to meet the goals declared. This papercategorises the benefits these chains are reported to have in 69 publications selected via a PRISMA review. It develops an exhaustive inventory of which benefit is connected with which SDG target and recommended action of the Milan Pact. Multidimensional infographics illustrate the associations between these benefits and both sets of global sustainability goals. The 348 benefits collected show disparities in current research on the topic across benefit categories, chain structures and continents. Benefits have been reported for ten SDG targets and nine MUFPP recommended actions. Quantifying externalities of short food supply chains and establishing causal effects for their targeted usage worldwide are aspects barely addressed by scientific inquiry. The insights gained help urban policymakers to understand to what extent the promotion of short food chains can help cities to meet SDG and MUFPP goals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104496
Number of pages12
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • SDGs
  • Public policy
  • Systematic literature review
  • Food system sustainability
  • Food system transition
  • Data visualisation


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