Agri-food enterprises are rethinking their traditional economic, productive and organizational schemes based on the new sustainability models. In the light of the new value creation patterns these enterprises are also reshaping their relationships with the other agri-food stakeholders by adopting socially responsible behaviour. In this widely changed but still evolving context, agri-food enterprises have therefore been demonstrating socially responsible attitudes towards the common good and social welfare leading to a new business ethical dimension, known as social responsibility. A new vision of agri-food enterprises is therefore established. In fact, they are reconsidered as a set of tangible and intangible value chains and their related governance structures, the composition and extent there of being determined by specific groups of variables which create an "optimal value portfolio". In the light of this analytical perspectives, the aim of this paper is to contribute to the theoretical agricultural economic debate and analyse social responsibility as a sustainability strategy and value creation means for agri-food enterprises and as a competitive factor within developed economies. Hence the theoretical-methodological approach of this paper has defined new interpretation models of sustainable agri-food enterprises and their related strategic behaviour which is ethically driven and adopted for value creation purposes in the light of the current social, economic, environmental and territorial issues. The theoretical and methodological results thus provide a further development in the analysis of value creation models in agri-food systems by opening new research avenues. Moreover, they also offer new insights for policy makers and practitioners as they contribute to the debate on the role of policies to support enterprises’ socially responsible actions and the definition of new guidelines for agri-food system actors.
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, agri-food, value creation
Jel Code: M14, Q13, D46