Interpretations of the concept of sustainability amongst the UK’s leading food and drink wholesalers

Jones, Peter and Comfort, Daphne and Hillier, David (2016) Interpretations of the concept of sustainability amongst the UK’s leading food and drink wholesalers. Market, 28 (2). pp. 213-229. ISSN 0353-4790

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Abstract

Purpose-The aim of this paper is to provide an exploratory review of the interpretations of the concept of sustainability amongst the UK’s leading food and drinks wholesalers as revealed by the sustainability agendas and achievements reported on their corporate websites. Design/Methodology/Approach-The paper begins with short introductions to sustainability, corporate sustainability and sustainability reporting and food and drinks wholesaling within the UK. The empirical material for the paper is drawn from reports and information posted on the leading food and drinks wholesalers’ corporate websites. Findings-There are marked variations in the extent to which the UK’s leading food and drinks wholesalers reported and provided information on their sustainability agendas and achievements. These agendas and achievements embraced a wide range of environmental, social and economic issues but the reporting process had a number of weaknesses that undermined its transparency and credibility. The authors also argue that the leading food and drinks wholesalers’ definitions of, and commitments to, sustainability are principally driven by business imperatives as by any fundamental concern to maintain the viability and integrity of natural and social capital Limitations- The paper is a preliminary review of the sustainability agendas and achievements publicly reported by the UK’s leading food and drinks wholesalers. Originality- Within the food and drinks supply chain wholesalers have a pivotal role at the interface between producers, manufacturers, retail and service providers and as such they can play in promoting sustainability. However the role of the UK’s wholesale sector in addressing sustainability has received scant attention in the academic literature and this paper will interest academics and students in business management and marketing.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: All content is made freely available for non-commercial purposes, users are allowed to copy and redistribute the material, transform, and build upon the material as long as they cite the source.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate sustainability, UK food and drinks wholesalers, economic growth
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5387 Business Ethics
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5419 Wholesale
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 15:57
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 01:49
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3970

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