Business & Management Studies, Trending Research

Mitigate risks in perishable food supply chains: Learning from COVID-19

In this study, the researchers have identified and analyzed risk mitigation strategies for perishable food supply chains during the current pandemic.


Sachin Kumar Mangla, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal University, Sonipat, Haryana, India; Visiting Research Fellow, Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.

Anish Kumar, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India.

Pradeep Kumar, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India.

Malin Song, Collaborative Innovation, Center for Ecological Economics and Management, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, China.


Food Supply Chains (FSCs) are among the essential services in a pandemic. Perishable food supply chains (PFSC) perform under higher risks as they struggle against greater wastage and product life cycle issues along with the logistics, operational, financial, and health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While facing these contingencies, it is essential to formulate strategies in real-time. In this paper, we identify and analyze risk mitigation strategies for PFSC during the current pandemic. We have initially discussed the uncertainties and risks related to pandemic situations and subsequently identified risk mitigation strategies to manage PFSC in such situations. 

We prioritized the identified strategies using the fuzzy-best worst methodology (F-BWM). The BWM is a highly effective decision-making method with higher consistency. The fuzzy extension to the best worst method (BWM) helps in incorporating vagueness and fuzziness in the decision. 

As a result, F-BWM is an excellent approach to analyze risk mitigation strategies as the business contingencies in PFSC during this pandemic are unique, with the industry having only a few clear ideas about how best to mitigate them. Among the risk mitigation strategies, “collaborative management,” “proactive business continuity planning,” and “financial sustainability” are the top risk mitigating strategies. Other identified strategies are also extremely useful for varied environmental contingencies. 

Thus, this research has been underpinned by the contingency theory and discusses all mitigation strategies concerning the socioeconomic contingencies originating from COVID-19. 

This research is a novel effort in identifying and analyzing the risk mitigation strategies for enhancing the socioeconomic-ecological performance of PFSCs in meeting the sustainable development goal of healthy and safe food for everyone.

Published in: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

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