Agrifood supply chain management: A comprehensive hierarchical decision-making framework and a critical taxonomy
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Globalisation, along with rapid demographic changes and evolving regulatory and legislative interventions, dictates the increasing demand for high quality, value-added and customised agrifood products. In this context, the design, development and operation of efficient agrifood supply chains (AFSCs) have begun to be met with increased interest in modern management science. Furthermore, the volatility of weather conditions, the perishability of goods, the complex food safety regulatory environment, the changing consumers' lifestyle trends, the environmental concerns and the plethora of stakeholders involved pose significant challenges towards the development of robust supply chains within the agrifood sector.In this manuscript, we provide a comprehensive hierarchical decision-making framework and a critical taxonomy that apply to all stakeholders involved in the design and management of AFSCs. More specifically, we first present the generic system components along with the unique characteristics of AFSCs that differentiate them from conventional supply chain networks. We then recognise the natural hierarchy of the decision-making process for the design and planning of AFSCs and provide a taxonomy of existing research efforts as these are mapped on the relevant strategic, tactical and operational levels of the hierarchical decision-making echelons. Our critical analysis demonstrates that the agrifood supply chain management is a rapidly evolving research field, focussing more on addressing case-dependent problems related with distinct supply chain echelons, and less on developing integrated methodological approaches for the optimisation of the entire supply chain. Our analysis further allows for the identification of gaps and overlaps in literature, as well as of future research areas. 2013 IAgrE.