Sustainability analysis of food manufacturing SMEs - A critical review

Slindile Mbuyane, Ndala Mulongo, Clinton Aigbavboa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The rapidly increasing advancements in manufacturing sector has created pressure for manufacturers to rethink and redesign their existing systems in order to cope with the challenges that emerged with globalization and environmental concerns. This trend brought about the introduction of the sustainable manufacturing concept; this concept of sustainable manufacturing is generally referred to as "green business" which emerged towards the end of the 20th century. An increase in customer awareness and pressures from stakeholders shifted manufacturers' focus; no longer were financial benefits the primary concern in the contemporary business environment. As a result, many innovative strategies were brought into the realm of manufacturing systems, such as lean, green, agile, and sustainable manufacturing practices. Sustainable manufacturing has been acclaimed in recent years for its significant benefits directed at triple bottom line factors (social, environmental, and financial) also known as the sustainable development pillars. Even though many studies have been conducted on sustainable manufacturing, the critical assessment conducted in this study posits that there is much gap to be covered as far as research in this filed is concerned. Considering this gap, this study aimed at theoretically assessing sustainability in food manufacturing SMEs. The results of the critical appraisal of the current literature, clearly illustrate that there is a gap in the current body of knowledge particularly with SMEs. These can feed in future endeavours of crafting a framework for sustainable manufacturing for food manufacturing SMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1508-1518
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 27 Sept 201829 Sept 2018


  • Food manufacturing
  • SMEs
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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