Drivers and barriers towards circular economy in agri-food supply chain: a review

Amina Mehmood, Shehzad Ahmed*, Evi Viza, Ana Bogush, Rana Muhammad Ayyub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past few years, the circular economy (CE) concept has captured considerable attention from researchers and practitioners as a potential solution for social, economic, and environmental challenges. But in literature, limited engagement has been given to explore the CE initiatives, particularly in the agri‐food supply chain (AFSC). This paper aims to address this gap by critically reviewing the existing literature and identify the drivers and barriers for implementing the CE in the AFSC. This study uses a systematic literature review approach to critically analyse the current literature to develop future empirical research areas. The popularity of the CE drivers and barriers in the AFSC following the number of times they appeared in the research studies is examined. It shows that environmental (67%), policy and economy (47%), and financial benefits (43%) are the three top drivers. However, institutional (64%), financial (48%), and technological risks (40%) are the top three barriers in implementing CE practices in the AFSC. It is observed that there is an utmost need for international communities to introduce internationally accepted standards and frameworks for CE practices to be used globally to eliminate waste, particularly in the agriculture sector. Moreover, government intervention to stimulate CE initiatives plays a critical role in the transition process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-481
Number of pages17
JournalBusiness Strategy and Development
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2021


  • agri-food supply chain
  • barriers
  • circular economy
  • closed-loop supply chain
  • drivers


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