Samuel Eric KAMGANG

Université Laval
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Olivier Boiral
Start: 2020-08-31
End: 2024-08-31


Integrating biodiversity and fundamental social aspects into responsible sourcing practices in the food industry
The food industry is facing crises (e.g., loss of habitat for biodiversity, working conditions of farm workers) and pressures (e.g., from external stakeholders) that are pushing food companies to move towards responsible sourcing. The literature on this topic has grown considerably over the last ten years and highlights the processes and practices, as well as the indicators of responsible sourcing developed by food companies. The analysis of trends in this literature presents it as a subject more oriented towards economic and environmental considerations to the detriment of social issues, especially the most fundamental ones such as forced labor and child labor. Among the environmental aspects, biodiversity is less taken into account than other issues such as materials and energy, the atmosphere, and water. However, biodiversity is highly impacted by the supply of agricultural products essential to food production in the food industry. It provides many ecosystem services essential to the reproduction of food systems, and is degraded daily by agricultural practices. This research project aims to identify the best social and biodiversity conservation practices developed by food companies in terms of responsible sourcing. The research will take place in three main stages. The first step consists of a scoping review to identify key trends and future research directions. The second step consists of a content analysis of sustainability reports in order to identify the best practices of responsible sourcing promoted by food companies. The third step is a content analysis of grey literature in order to identify good social practices that food companies could take into account in their responsible sourcing policy. The study will contribute to a global mapping of food companies' efforts to manage biodiversity and social issues in their sourcing practices. It will highlight examples of experiences and best practices in this area.