Fostering Sustainability in New Value Chains for (Re)Adopting Underutilized Crops

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In the European Union, diversification into more resilient crops and the massive deficit in protein production constitute a huge challenge. Among recommended food alternatives to help solve this problem are high-value ancient underutilized agricultural crops recommended by international institutions, which are usually more resilient than mainstream crops and often have higher protein content. Our hypothesis is that there is a need for a more holistic framework that encompasses most of the issues to be considered when developing sustainable value chains for (re)adopting underutilized crops. To test our hypothesis and suggest a more holistic approach, we conducted a review of existing scientific literature in the field. Here, we identify the most relevant issues suggested as preconditions for (re)adopting underutilized crops. We discuss the theoretical background of the main constraints or drivers and their effect on the realization of more socially, environmentally and financially sustainable adoption strategies. As a result, the study suggests a more holistic framework.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Sustainable Development
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-21
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • underutilized crops
  • adoption
  • value chain
  • holistic approach
  • sustainable development
  • innovation drivers

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