Module: Sustainability and the food industry

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Richard Baines
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    25 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Monday AM

Module content

This module focuses on the challenges aimed at businesses and corporations along agri-food supply chains to demonstrate environmentally responsible practices and corporate social responsibility (CSR), or put simply Corporate Responsibility (CR). The following themes will be developed:

  • Business externalities (policy, society, pressure groups, trading partners, customers etc.) and how to address these.
  • Business policies and procedures to address environmental (and social) issues (assessment tools and standards)
  • The use of environmental and social tools linked to business responsibilities and activity 

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the advanced technical, managerial and behavioural skills to manage activities associated with operating a “sustainable” food business.
  2. Critically evaluate the use of “sustainability” tools in a given food business environment.
  3. Work independently and demonstrate creativity and independence of thought in the development of a sustainability audit, its implementation and the development of appropriate corrective actions.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework 1 x report 100%

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of ALL of the following:

  • Manning L., Baines R.N., and Chadd S.A. (2006), "Ethical modelling of the food supply chain", British Food Journal, Vol. 108, No. 5, pp. 358-370.
  • Manning L., Baines R.N., and Chadd S.A. (2007), "Benchmarking the poultry meat supply chain", Benchmarking: An International Journal Vol. 15, No. 2-3 2008, pp. 148-165  
  • Manning L. (2008), "The impact of water quality and availability on food production", British Food Journal, Vol. 110, No. 8, pp. 762-780.
  • Manning, L., (2013) "Corporate and consumer social responsibility in the food supply chain", British Food Journal, Vol, 115, No. 1 pp2-29

Supporting texts

  • Cool Farm Tool. Available at:
  • LEAF website. Available at:
  • Agenda 21: UN Sustainable Development (No date) [Online] (Accessed 2nd Sept 2015)
  • Blowfield, M. (2012) Business and sustainability. Oxford University Press.
  • Hitchcock, D.E. and Willard, M.L. (2009) The business guide to sustainability: practical strategies and tools for organizations. 2nd edn. London: Earthscan. [E-book Available at:] Here. (Accessed: 02 September 2015).
  • CRONER PUBLICATIONS (no date) Croner's environmental management. [Reference material] Croner Publications.
  • EEA, 2015, The European environment — state and outlook 2015: synthesis report, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.
  • (Accessed 2nd Sept 2015)
  • Evans, J.P. (2011) Environmental governance. London: Routledge. (Routledge introductions to environment).
  • Kütting, G. (2011) Global environmental politics: concepts, theories and case studies. London: Routledge.
  • Leipziger, D. (2003). The Corporate Responsibility Code Book. Greenleaf Publishing. Mahonge, C.P.I. (2010) Co-managing complex social-ecological systems in Tanzania: The case of Lake Jipe wetland. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic. (Environmental policy series; Environmental policy series, 2)
  • Moon, J. (2014) Corporate social responsibility: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press. (Very short introductions, 414).
  • OECD. (1993). Agricultural and Environmental Policy Integration.
  • Therivel et al. (1992). Strategic Environmental Assessment. Earthscan publications.
  • ISO (2000) 14001 Environmental Management Standard
  • BSI (2006) BS8333 Environmental Standard for Small Businesses
  • Environmental Legislation – see