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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Reviewing Value Creation in Agriculture—A Conceptual Analysis and a New Framework

Sadovska, Vera; Ekelund Axelson, Lena; Mark-Herbert, Cecilia


Creation of business value is a major objective of any enterprise, but the way in which value is created and its consequences call for re-evaluation in response to current sustainability goals. The agricultural sector serves basic human needs, but its systems and methods for production, processing, and consumption often pose challenges to sustainable development. To address these challenges, this study consolidated value-creating factors identified in a systematic literature review into nine clusters: collaboration, communication, knowledge, production, diversification, entrepreneurism, funding, policies, and inclusiveness. These clusters were analyzed with a Triple Bottom Line framework where financial, environmental, and social dimensions are part of sustainable development. The analysis revealed that agricultural enterprises pursue business activities in a near-term perspective, with few having strategies for long-term activities such as innovativeness, knowledge acquisition, and collaboration with external stakeholders. These findings highlight the complexity in creation of sustainable business value and call for further investigation of how value is conceptualized in the agricultural sector. Re-thinking value creation in the sector should consider why value is created, for whom, the time perspective in which value is assessed, and the aspects given weight in the assessment.


added value; collaboration; communication; food production; food processing; innovation; sustainable agriculture; sustainable value; Triple Bottom Line

Published in

2020, Volume: 12, number: 12, article number: 2051