Indoor farming applications have recently been identified as a potential alternative to contribute to sustainable food production in the urban context. Anyhow, the social impacts of these technologies are still uncertain. The first purpose of this study is to analyse the public perception of indoor farming products and to identify the factors that influence it. The second aim is to assess the positive and negative impacts that these new technologies could have on society. A systematic review of the literature on indoor farming applications was performed to answer these research questions. Following this approach, 40 publications were selected and analysed. The results show that consumers are still uncertain about indoor food production, mainly due to the lack of naturalness. Anyhow, effectively communicating the benefits of these technologies to the public can help to increase their acceptability. Social benefits found in the literature include increased fresh food supply, social integration, revaluation of urban areas, educational opportunities, and added value in terms of the local economy and job creation. To successfully develop from a social point of view indoor farm projects must integrate different functions and carefully evaluate the context in which they are set. The main challenges will be the increase of accessibility, inclusion, and transparency of this production process, as well as gaining financial and political support. Given consumers’ uncertainty around these technologies, it seems essential for managers to increase sustainability potential while effectively conveying these benefits to the public. Further quantitative research in this field, as well as policies and regulations, will be needed for market development.

Public perception and social sustainability of indoor farming technologies: A systematic review

Mina, Giorgio;Peira, Giovanni;Bonadonna, Alessandro
2023-01-01

Abstract

Indoor farming applications have recently been identified as a potential alternative to contribute to sustainable food production in the urban context. Anyhow, the social impacts of these technologies are still uncertain. The first purpose of this study is to analyse the public perception of indoor farming products and to identify the factors that influence it. The second aim is to assess the positive and negative impacts that these new technologies could have on society. A systematic review of the literature on indoor farming applications was performed to answer these research questions. Following this approach, 40 publications were selected and analysed. The results show that consumers are still uncertain about indoor food production, mainly due to the lack of naturalness. Anyhow, effectively communicating the benefits of these technologies to the public can help to increase their acceptability. Social benefits found in the literature include increased fresh food supply, social integration, revaluation of urban areas, educational opportunities, and added value in terms of the local economy and job creation. To successfully develop from a social point of view indoor farm projects must integrate different functions and carefully evaluate the context in which they are set. The main challenges will be the increase of accessibility, inclusion, and transparency of this production process, as well as gaining financial and political support. Given consumers’ uncertainty around these technologies, it seems essential for managers to increase sustainability potential while effectively conveying these benefits to the public. Further quantitative research in this field, as well as policies and regulations, will be needed for market development.
2023
75
102363
102375
Indoor farming; Vertical farming; Consumer preference; Social sustainability
Mina, Giorgio; Peira, Giovanni; Bonadonna, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1933151
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