Environmental Sustainability in the Indian Dairy Value Chain
Abstract: The dairy industry has a noteworthy environmental footprint, specifically on global warming and resource depletion. Yet, environmental challenges also adversely impact the sustenance of many dairy value chain stakeholders. This is problematic not only in terms of livelihood for more than 70 million rural households but also considering the growing population and hence the increasing dairy demand. Therefore, this study aims to explore how the Indian dairy industry responds to the environmental sustainability transition. This is to identify challenges and opportunities for the reduction of the industry’s environmental footprint and to ensure a sustainable dairy supply. To gain context-rich insights, the researchers undertook travels to India and conducted a qualitative multi-method research design, including 19 semi-structured expert interviews. Therefore, the unit of analysis is the Indian dairy value chain. An adapted sustainability transition framework was utilised to provide a distinctive guideline for this dissertation. Key findings revealed the Indian dairy value chain to demonstrate only little effort towards a sustainability transition. Some changes are visible but are mainly economically motivated. Most prominent challenges deemed to be the lack of education leading to high unawareness, strong path-dependency, price sensitivity and lacking responsibility from the government. Contrary, opportunities mainly constitute of the development of technical solutions within renewable energies, water recycling techniques, waste recycling and segregation. Lastly, this study suggests a minor revision of the utilised framework, which it argues to be applicable to the Indian context and possibly to other similar emerging markets.
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