Informations and abstract
Keywords: Quality, sustainability, food, standards, international performance.
The quality of Italian food products has always been a competitive driver on foreign markets. Today, getting quality choices means following a responsible behavior too, regarding the realization of products with an environmental and/or social value, involving the whole supply chain. The objective of the work is the analysis of sustainability as a quality attribute of food products and the study of corporate social responsibility (Csr) practices, with regard to standards, as a competitive driver for foreign markets. The paper investigates the relationship between the choice of environmental and social standards and the international performance of a set of agrifood companies in Campania, analyzed through the multiple case study method and the tools of qualitative methodology. What role do standards play in attributing added value to the quality of agrifood products, what role do they have to differentiate sustainable products on foreign markets and improve the international performance of companies? These are the research questions investigated in the paper. The results of the research show a significant correlation, in companies interviewed, between Csr practices, with reference to the adoption of standards, and international competitiveness, measured by market performance relative to growth in foreign demand and opening up to new markets.