Shortening supply chain postulates challenge this operational mode and address some of the disadvantages posed by global chains. Sustainability provides frame for some of those critics and develops short supply as solutions: strengthens the position of small-scale producers in food system, implements local policies aimed at social inclusion, prevents over-use of local resources and markets (environment, labour), reduces epidemiological, public health and climate risks, stimulates circular economy practices, respects indigenous cultures, economies and knowledge, etc. The values of short supply chains are not limited to economy but provide an alternative economic model (as an example see ->Alternative Food Networks). They refer to environment and planetary health, social justice, ->food safety and ->food sovereignty, well-being and social inclusion, cultural values etc.
The concept of short supply chains has been raised and problematized especially in relation to food system. Short food supply chains (SFSC) was introduced in the 2014-2020 CAP and defined as formed by “a limited number of economic operators, committed to co-operation, local economic development, and close geographical and social relations between producers, processors and consumers (see The Regulation (EU) N. 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). This policy encourages European small-scale producers to be part of SFSC initiatives and offers the possibility of co-financing from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (https://www.eufic.org/en/food-production/article/short-food-supply-chains-reconnecting-producers-and-consumers).
Many advantages of short food supply chains have mobilized the consumers within so called Locavore movement. Locavores prioritize local food supply chains and direct producer-consumer relations, e.g. within farmers markets or Community Supported Agriculture models. In some cases, the locality of food chains is defined geographically, like defining local limits by 50, 100- or 150-miles radius. The motivations for purchasing food locally vary from health and nutritional reasons, to economic, ethical, cultural and political.