Crossing actors' boundaries towards circular ecosystems in the organic food sector: Facing the challenges in an emerging economy context

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Ferrari, Aline Gabriela [UNESP]
Jugend, Daniel [UNESP]
Armellini, Fabiano
Barbalho, Sanderson César Macedo
Carvalho, Marly Monteiro de

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The demand for organic food is increasing worldwide. Studies have shown that the circular economy can bring environmental and operational improvements to the food sector. However, little is known about how the circular economy can contribute to organic food. From the perspective of circular ecosystems, this exploratory study aims to contribute to the emerging debate by identifying and analyzing the relationships between different actors in an ecosystem of organic food producers. Addressing this objective, a case study was carried out involving seven actors from an organic food ecosystem in Brazil. The main results revealed: (i) that the production of organic food is aligned with the principles of the circular economy; (ii) that the common goal of using and disseminating organic agriculture facilitates alignment between the actors in an ecosystem; (iii) the important role of the orchestrator, mainly to coordinate the different actors and technically support small producers/farmers; and (iv) that collaboration in an ecosystem favors the reuse of “waste” between farmers. In addition, our results identified that ecosystems face bureaucratic barriers to obtaining resources, and there is little collaboration between the actors and universities.



Biological cycle, Business ecosystem, Circular economy, Circular ecosystem, Organic food

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Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 407.