DOI: 10.3390/su16010002 ISSN: 2071-1050

Analysis of Food Supply Chain Digitalization Opportunities in the Function of Sustainability of Food Placement in the Western Balkans Region

Dražen Marić, Goran Vukmirović, Radenko Marić, Daniela Nuševa, Ksenija Leković, Sonja Vučenović
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This paper aims to analyze and define incentives for the implementation of modern technology and digitalization of the Food Supply Chain (FSC) in the function of sustainability of the food retail sector of the Western Balkans (WB) region. The survey method was applied to a sample of 255 employees. We tested the importance of certain indicators for the implementation of the digitalization process, such as the application of Blockchain Technology (BT), the use of modern IT solutions for traceability, the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT), the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI), development of a system for electronic food placement, implementation of standards, measures, and procedures for regulating the digitalization process, continuous training of employees and economic and financial measures and incentives. A special segment of research deals with the impact of the implemented digitalization process on the sustainability of food placement. The research was conducted among employees of SMEs, large-scale business entities, and retail chains. The research results showed significant deviations from the mentioned incentives to the digitalization process depending on the size of the FSC participants. The work has practical implications because the obtained results show the FSC management, trade policy makers, and competent institutions (ministries, chambers of commerce, professional associations) what measures to apply in order to improve a more efficient implementation of the digitalization process of food placement and lay the foundation for the sustainability of the FSC. Guidelines for future research are outlined in the paper.

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