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Sustainable Supply Systems

Sustainable Supply Systems

Release Date: September

Professional Accreditation: IEMA (as part of MSc)

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

A look at innovative approaches to economic and environmentally sustainable supply systems

Food and other bio-based producers, processors and retailers need to work together to maintain product supply for a sustainable future. This module will draw on the latest research to explore the concept of sustainability and the challenges to achieving it. It will consider how economic, environmental and social sustainability can be improved and governed, and examine innovative approaches and technologies available to support this process while maintaining supply of safe, high quality products. This module will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand more about sustainability and how it can be improved in any bio-based supply system.

This module is core to the MSc


We've recorded a short Podcast, titled "Can the Welsh dairy, beef and sheep sectors be sustainable?"

In this episode, Dr Neil MacKintosh explains what is meant by sustainability and how the Welsh food industry might have to change in the future. He also talks about the distance learning opportunities through BioInnovation Wales and, in particular, the module on Sustainable Supply Systems.

Listen to the podcast below!


The course will consist of a series of lectures and guided learning focused on: 

List of Units

The Challenges

Why food and bio-based supply is different, Defining sustainability and challenges to sustainable supply

Environmental and Social Sustainability

A critical look at key aspects of sustainability and how they are assessed

Nutritional Sustainability and Health

Meeting nutritional, food safety and One Health requirements in sustainable supply

Economics, Business Goals and Sustainability

Key economic concepts for understanding sustainable supply, The aims of businesses and how they achieve them

Paths to Sustainability

From mass production to lean production, Does lean = sustainable? Alternative approaches to the sustainable supply

The Power of Information

Information and sustainability in modern food and bio-based supply, Case study – the red meat supply chain

Added Value from Sustainable Practice

Marketing of sustainability -- Protected Designation of Origin and labelling

Governing Sustainability

Achieving effective governance of food and bio-based supply

Case Studies of Sustainable Supply

Examples of food and bio-based supply in Wales – meeting challenges and improving sustainability

Improving Sustainability in Practice – Innovation in Supply Systems

Exploring innovative options for improved sustainability in specific supply systems


Tutors Name
Dr Neil MacKintosh
Dr Kenton Hart


Mike Goldthorp

Brilliant module - it's given me loads to reflect on and given me a broader perspective on complexity. ...For me the most significant piece of research highlighted in this module was the importance of collective action and cooperation to create sustainable networks and synergy. [I will use what I have learned] to support the development of school farms and gardens, education around nutrition and sustainable food production for the next generation (and their families).

Mike Goldthorp Gardener/ Educator -
Kirstie Jones

Waste is a big issue in the meat industry particularly for smaller processors and butchers as they have smaller profit margins and it’s important for them to maximise their returns. So, I wanted to learn more about the meat supply chain and help to identify if, and where, waste reduction cost savings could be made. The Meat Processing and Sustainable Supply Systems modules have been really useful in helping me to explore new products and ways to help make the meat industry become more of a circular economy.