The seven challenges for transitioning into a bio-based circular economy in the agri-food sector

Massimiliano Borrello, Alessia Lombardi, Stefano Pascucci, Luigi Cembalo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Closed-loop agri-food supply chains have a high potential to reduce environmental and economic costs resulting from food waste disposal. This paper illustrates an alternative to the traditional supply chain of bread based on the principles of a circular economy. Methods: Six circular interactions among seven actors (grain farmers, bread producers, retailers, compostable packaging manufacturers, insect breeders, livestock farmers, consumers) of the circular filière are created in order to achieve the goal of "zero waste". In the model, two radical technological innovations are considered: insects used as animal feed and polylactic acid compostable packaging. Results: The main challenges for the implementation of the new supply chain are identified. Finally, some recent patents related to bread sustainable production, investigated in the current paper, are considered. Conclusion: Recommendations are given to academics and practitioners interested in the bio-based circular economy model approach for transforming agri-food supply chains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
JournalRecent Patents on Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Bread
  • Food waste
  • Insects as feed
  • Recycling
  • Reuse
  • Zero waste


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