Sustainable Development Goals and healthy foods: perspective from the food system

Antonio Iazzi, Lorenzo Ligorio, Demetris Vrontis, Oronzo Trio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of the paper is to assess food and beverage companies' levels of communication about their activities and sustainability performances, in terms of their compliance with the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the consistency of the contents of the sustainability reports they publish on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Design/methodology/approach: To this end, a content analysis of the non-financial reports published by 102 food and beverage companies in the year 2018 has been conducted to identify the most adopted GRI guideline and the nature of the communicated SDGs. Finally, three t-tests have been used to understand how the presence on a listed market, the geographical settlement and nature of the company affects the corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication. Findings: The study has revealed how the transition to the more recent GRI Standards guidelines is still on going. Also, it has emerged how food and beverage companies are supporting the pursuit of the SDGs through the reduction of work inequalities. At last, the analysis has showed how the presence on a listed market is a driver of CSR communication. Originality/value: The findings of the present study provide a picture of the current CSR practices in the food and beverage sector and allow companies to effectively choose the most suitable non-financial indicators and GRI guidelines. Also, the present contribution has revealed the key SDGs considered by food and beverage companies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Food Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Agri-food industry
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Global Reporting Initiative
  • Sustainability


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