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Abstract

mainly due to a widespread discontent with the industrialization of agricultural production and food processing and growing public pressure on agribusiness firms to implement more sustainable management practices. In this paper we present the results of an explorative empirical study of sustainability management in German agribusiness firms. The study shows that agribusiness firms have developed a broad understanding of sustainability management and perceive a multi-facetted spectrum of societal demands they have to meet. The most important arguments for implementing more sustainable management practices are that companies have to make sure that they are trusted by society in the long run and that the perception of a company by external stakeholders has become more and more important. The companies surveyed know quite a number of sustainability programmes and standards, but the number of companies that actually participate in these initiatives is much smaller. Nonetheless, the majority of the respondents feels that their company is more successful with regard to sustainability management than industry average.

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