Production Planning & Control: The Management of Operations Contribute to our special issue on Operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chains

Production Planning & Control

Agri-Food supply chains can be seen as a complex network of large, medium and small producers (who grow and trade food commodities), processors (who process, manufacture and market primary and value added products), distributors (such as wholesalers and retailers that market and sell the food), consumers (who shop, purchase and consume food) and government/non-government organisations (who establish regulations that control the  agri-food supply chain).

However, growing world population, dynamic market demands, high product variety, low understanding of regulations across countries as well as the need for maintaining high standards in food growing and production  are sources of uncertainty which imply a management challenge for reducing cost and waste as well as for balancing food supply and demand. Thus, collaboration among stakeholders along the agri-food supply chain is more important than ever, and the right application of operations management concepts will help to oversee the key information flows across the entire agri-food supply chain, which will guarantee an efficient decision-making process for food growing and production with a view to meeting end-customers’ specifications and satisfaction.

From this, development and re-design of agri-food supply chains will emerge, by linking relevant inputs, outputs and processes to key agri-food supply chain aspects such as continuous improvement, cost reduction and minimised imbalance between supply and demand. This will lead to the creation of a more productive and sustainable agri-food supply chain system, able to mitigate risks and uncertainties. Therefore, the study and contribution on operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chain Systems is presented as a multi-disciplinary theme of contemporary interest and useful for both the industry as well as the academic research area, with applications in several sectors, such as: agronomy, food manufacturing, transport and logistics, strategic planning, health, legislation, marketing, economy, supply chain management, knowledge management, risk and uncertainty, innovation and ICT-based decision support systems.

Topic selection

The objective of this special issue is to identify the operations management situations where decisions are made difficult by uncertainty in the agri-food domain, within the study and implementation of Operations Management based approaches in agri-food supply chains. Contributions to this special issue are expected to provide anwers to managerial research questions such as (but not limited to):

  • How are the variety of stakeholders in the agri-food supply chain affected by regulations, prices, business management and food-safety related issues?
  • How can growers and producers collaborate to reduce costs and prices in the agri-food supply chain, whilst providing safe, nutritious, accessible and affordable food to consumers?
  • In conditions of information uncertainty, how do management decsions affect food quality and waste?  How can information systems mitigate the problem?
  • How can operations management contribute to customer satisfaction in agri-food suppy chains?
  • What benefits can agri-food operations management deliver for sustainable food transport and logistic whilst reducing food waste?

Contributions are expected on research that stems from an industrial need and can guide the activities of managers and future researchers. Theoretical contributions without management implications, will normally not be considered.

Submission instructions

This is an open call for full papers. High-quality papers from EURO2018 and PRO-VE 2018 will be selected by the Scientific Committee to be extended and submitted to this call, for review.

All contributions will be subjected to a single blind review process.  Manuscripts must be sent electronically to the guest editors and should be prepared according to the Production Planning & Control guidelines that can be found at

Important Dates

  • Manuscript submission deadline, 1st November, 2018
  • Estimated publication, Autumn 2019

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Jorge E Hernandez, Senior Lecturer in Operations & Supply Chain Management, Management School, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom. (
  • Guest Editor: Herve Panetto, Professor of Enterprise Information Systems, Research Centre for Automatic Control, University of Lorraine, CNRS, France (
  • Guest Editor: Nicola Calabrese, Food Production Innovation, CNR – Institute of Sciences of Food Production; Bari, Italy (
  • Guest Editor: David Martinez, ICT Manager, Food safety systems and Value chain integration, AINIA Technological Centre, Valencia, Spain (