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Sustainable agro-food supply chain design using two-stage hybrid multi-objective decision-making approach

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2016, 15:14 authored by Hamid Allaoui, Yuhan Guo, Alok ChoudharyAlok Choudhary, Jacqueline Bloemhof
Sustainability of agro-food supply chains has recently become the subject of greater interest from consumers, firms, governmental organizations and academia as the environment continues to deteriorate. One of the most critical factors influencing the sustainability of an agro-food supply chain is its network design. A particularly challenging aspect in this context is the broad range of influencing indicators associated with the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) of sustainability that need to be considered. However, many of these indicators could not be fully integrated or measured by single-step optimization problems. This paper presents a critical literature review of operational research methods for the design of sustainable supply chains. A novel two-stage hybrid solution methodology is proposed. In the first stage, a partner selection is performed using a hybrid multi criteria decision making based on Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method and the Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) aggregation method. The result obtained in the first stage is used in the second stage to develop a multi-objective mathematical model to optimize the design of the supply chain network. This approach allows the simultaneous consideration of all three dimensions of sustainability including carbon footprint, water footprint, number of jobs created and the total cost of the supply chain design. The proposed approach generates a Pareto frontier to aid users in making decisions. Numerical experiments are completed utilizing data from a case study of French agro-food company to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the solution method. The analyses of the numerical results provide important organizational, practical and policy insights on (1) the impact of financial and environmental sustainability on supply chain network design (2) the use of environmental emission, water footprint, societal and cost tradeoff analysis for making informed decision on supply chain investment.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Computers & Operations Research




369 - 384


ALLAOUI, H. al., 2017. Sustainable agro-food supply chain design using two-stage hybrid multi-objective decision-making approach. Computers & Operations Research, 89, pp. 369-384.


© Elsevier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Computers & Operations Research and the definitive published version is available at