Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016)
Full Research Articles

Sustainability comparison of a local and a global milk value chains in Switzerland

Emilia Schmitt
Dominique Barjolle
Anaëlle Tanquerey-Cado
Gianluca Brunori
University of Pisa

Published 2017-01-02


  • local,
  • global,
  • attributes,
  • sustainability,
  • indicators

How to Cite

Schmitt, E., Barjolle, D., Tanquerey-Cado, A., & Brunori, G. (2017). Sustainability comparison of a local and a global milk value chains in Switzerland. Bio-Based and Applied Economics, 5(2), 175–198. https://doi.org/10.13128/BAE-17140


Local food generally has a positive image, supported among consumers by the perception of reduced negative impacts on the environment and other dimensions. However, a critical analysis of local food chains’ performance in comparison with more global ones is still needed to objectively assess the real benefits and drawbacks of local and global food chains. A careful analysis needs to be conducted to compare the sustainability performance of local food value chains with global ones. In this paper, the methodology of selecting a set of attributes and indicators of performance to compare the multi-dimensional performance of a local with a global food chain is presented. A specific selection of attributes of performance around five sustainability dimensions (economic, social, environmental, health and ethical) is used to measure and evaluate two Swiss milk chains’ performances and compare the local chain with the global one.


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