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Soybean is one of the most important agricultural products in international markets due to its high global consumption. However, there are limited studies considering sustainability issues and global economic aspects of the soybean supply chain design and optimization. Moreover, it is challenging to integrate many sustainability criteria into a single-stage optimization model for a soybean supply chain configuration. This research proposes a novel two-stage approach, integrating a multi-criteria decision-making technique and a new multi-objective optimization model to design and optimize a soybean supply chain network in Canada, considering sustainability and global factors. In Stage 1, several qualitative and quantitative sustainability criteria are considered to calculate the sustainability scores for the potential suppliers, using the Interval Type 2 Trapezoidal Best Worst Method. Then, the scores are used as input in Stage 2, where a new optimization model with four objective functions is formulated to design and optimize a soybean supply chain. The objective functions include maximization of total profit, created job opportunities, and suppliers' sustainability, and minimization of CO2 emissions. Then, the Pareto frontier is generated, using the augmented ε-constraint method which helps policymakers to make appropriate decisions. Furthermore, four cases are proposed and analyzed to assess the impacts of the objective functions on strategic and tactical decisions. The results show the importance of the presented method as an integrated approach, considering sustainability pillars in agri-food supply chains. In addition, the results indicate that the proposed stochastic multi-objective model can handle fluctuations in uncertain parameters.

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This page is a summary of: A novel two-stage multi-objective optimization model for sustainable soybean supply chain design under uncertainty, Sustainable Production and Consumption, July 2023, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2023.07.006.
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