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Innovative circular business models in the olive oil sector for sustainable mediterranean agrifood systems

Abstract : Considering the large amounts of harmful waste produced in the Mediterranean olive sector, entrepreneurial initiatives creating value from olive waste and by-products via circular bio-economy approaches are reviewed. These circular business models aim to enhance the functionality use of olive trees beyond traditional patterns for value creation. The study focuses on business drivers and value creation mechanisms, and specifically on conversion pathways of olive waste towards new value propositions. In total, 41 cases are analyzed mainly according to the Business Model Canvas components with NVivo, based on data gathered from an extensive online search mainly of company websites and reports, online articles, research project reports, professional websites, and newsletters. Results indicate that some innovative businesses have emerged specializing in the domain of olive waste valorization, driven by environmental concerns and mainly focusing on bioenergy production. However, the overall olive biomass potential yet seems to be under-valorized. A more radical and systemic change will be needed for effective implementation of circular business models contributing to sustainable development in the Mediterranean olive sector, with adequate subsidies, common regulations, more collective actions for creating economies of scale, and marketing strategies to increase consumer awareness for bio-based products.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03158870
Contributor : Jean-Walter Schleich <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 10:44:26 AM
Last modification on : Monday, April 12, 2021 - 11:30:03 AM

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Mechthild Donner, Ivana Radić. Innovative circular business models in the olive oil sector for sustainable mediterranean agrifood systems. Sustainability, MDPI, 2021, 13 (5), pp.2588. ⟨10.3390/su13052588⟩. ⟨hal-03158870⟩

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