The Impact of COVID-19 in Social Sustainability

A Fish Value Chain Exploration

Keywords: Social Sustainability, Fish Industry, Value Chain, Sustainable Development Goals, Qualitative Analysis


The idea of UN Sustainable Development Goals that no one is left behind is gaining higher importance, especially during the pandemic. Despite social sustainability is a complex topic due to the absence of a clear definition and its subjectivity. It relates with existing social problems, where the COVID-19 pandemic has also increased these problems in the food value chain: poor decent working conditions, lack of occupational health and safety at the workplace, forced labor, and intensive hours of work, among others. As half of the world’s workforce is involved in the food industry, the better understanding of its associated value chains in times of pandemic can contribute to improve social sustainable practices. With this aim the current paper identifies and analyzes current challenges and problems linked to social sustainability in times of COVID-19, identifying key actors and potential solutions and recommendations. The research adopts a qualitative and exploratory method applied through the Grounded Theory analysis combining desk research with inputs from a multi-stakeholder consultation of 35 fishery experts from all over the world. The paper provides new insights and shared experiences about social sustainability in the fish value chain to overcome the crisis times we are living in.


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How to Cite
Toussaint, M., & Cabanelas, P. (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 in Social Sustainability: A Fish Value Chain Exploration. Harvard Deusto Business Research, 10(1), 109-126.