Sustainability Experiments in the Agri-Food System: Uncovering the Factors of New Governance and Collaboration Success

Marianne Hubeau, Fleur Marchand, Guido Van Huylenbroeck

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


In recent years, research, society and industry recognize the need to transform the agri-food
system towards sustainability. Within this process, sustainability experiments play a crucial role
in transforming the structure, culture and practices. In literature, much attention is given to new
business models, even if the transformation of conventional firms toward sustainability may offer
opportunities to accelerate the transformation. Further acceleration could be achieved through
collaboration of multiple actors across the agri-food system, but this calls for a systems approach.
Therefore, we developed and applied a new sustainability experiment systems approach (SESA)
consisting of an analytical framework that allows a reflective evaluation and cross-case analysis of
multi-actor governance networks based on business and learning evaluation criteria. We performed
a cross-case analysis of four agri-food sustainability experiments in Flanders to test and validate
SESA. Hereby, the key factors of the success of collaboration and its performance were identified at
the beginning of a sustainability experiment. Some of the key factors identified were risk sharing and
the drivers to participate. We are convinced that these results may be used as an analytical tool for
researchers, a tool to support and design new initiatives for policymakers, and a reflective tool for
participating actors.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
Aantal pagina’s23
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2017


  • B410-landbouwhydrologie


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