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Innovations for Sustainable Protein Systems

Proceeding: 7th International Conference Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (IMES 2019) (IMES)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 677-686

Keywords : Sustainable innovations; sustainable entrepreneurs; protein system; food industry;

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Introduction of new, alternative protein sources and products for replacingconventional animal products requires many innovations at the product level and the systemlevel. However, less attention has been given to analyzing the emergence of entrepreneurial andbusiness responses to sustainable protein system. The purpose of the paper is to analyze theopportunities and challenges in food processing related to sustainable protein systems from theperspective of sustainable innovations and sustainable entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach: Thematic qualitative interviews were conducted in Finnishfood manufacturing companies during the first half of 2018. Nineteen (19) interviews wereconducted, of which sixteen (16) were face-to-face and three (3) by telephone using a semi-structured guide. Half of the companies represented traditional and established protein industry,whereas the other half represented alternative smaller-scale protein industry. The tape-recordedinterviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed using qualitative content analysis andabductive coding scheme. Findings: The interviewees of the traditional protein industry generally favored incrementalinnovations, adjustments and improvements, whereas the interviewees of alternative proteinindustry emphasized more radical and systemic innovations. It was generally agreed that theglobal long-term challenges, including climate change and population growth, will provideincreasing opportunities for a more diverse variety of protein sources and products. Research/practical implications: Sustainable protein innovations can be incremental, radical,sustaining or disruptive, but their contribution to sustainable protein system differ. Futureresearch could study in more detail the practices of providers of sustainable protein innovationsand investigate spatial and cultural embeddedness of protein innovations. Originality/value: Academic implications of the study lie in the exploration of the relevanceof protein issues in the context of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship literature.Practical implications of the study relate to raising awareness towards sustainable proteininnovations in terms of new business models, value offerings and entrepreneurial practices.

Last modified: 2020-06-06 15:36:20