OR Spectrum

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 863–904 | Cite as

Quality, safety and sustainability in food distribution: a review of quantitative operations management approaches and challenges

  • Renzo AkkermanEmail author
  • Poorya Farahani
  • Martin Grunow
Regular Article


The management of food distribution networks is receiving more and more attention, both in practice and in the scientific literature. In this paper, we review quantitative operations management approaches to food distribution management, and relate this to challenges faced by the industry. Here, our main focus is on three aspects: food quality, food safety, and sustainability. We discuss the literature on three decision levels: strategic network design, tactical network planning, and operational transportation planning. For each of these, we survey the research contributions, discuss the state of the art, and identify challenges for future research.


Food industry Distribution management Network design Network planning Transportation planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renzo Akkerman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Poorya Farahani
    • 1
  • Martin Grunow
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. Lyngby (Copenhagen)Denmark
  2. 2.Production and Supply Chain ManagementTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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