Sustainability is becoming a pivotal guide for driving the governance strategies of value chains. Sustainable policy should have as its objective the perpetuation of production models over time to maintain its environmental, economic and social dimensions. Therefore, measuring the sustainability of a production system is fundamental to deepening the understanding of ongoing trends, considering the pressure exerted by agricultural policies, market dynamics and innovations introduced in the production system. The purpose of this paper is to present a holistic framework for assessing the sustainability of food quality schemes (FQS), including the role of both stakeholders within the value chain, and the territorial dimension. This paper discusses the use of dimensional indicators and proposes synthetic indexes to provide an overall picture of the evolution of sustainability of a specific production system. Particularly, the evolution of sustainability in the Parmigiano Reggiano Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) production system is evaluated over the period 2000-2018. It is assumed that its evolution is due to the effect of 20 years of innovations which have impacted on product quality, value chain performance and rural development, modifying the sustainability of the whole production system.
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