Food Supply Chain Management

Claire Moxham (UMIST, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Moxham, C. (2004), "Food Supply Chain Management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 10, pp. 1079-1080.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

As multiple food retailers announce record profits, it is timely that this text brings together contributions from leading authorities in the field of food supply chain management. A study of this book helps managers, researchers and students to develop their understanding of the complexities inherent in today's food supply.

The text is divided into 15 chapters and endeavours to follow a “farm to fork” structure. Each chapter begins with objectives and finishes with pertinent study questions and a comprehensive list of references. The first chapter introduces the reader to the UK food supply chain and provides the context for the text. Key aspects of the management of the food supply chain are outlined and the structure of the industry is explained. Chapter two focuses on the consumer and explores consumer decision making and the implications for the food supply chain. A number of marketing concepts are used to support this chapter which concludes by examining the future for consumers in a market where availability is determined by the retailer. The third chapter builds on the previous chapter to examine perceived risk and product safety in the food supply chain. Two food crisis case studies are well presented and incorporate wide ranging data related to food risks and suggest that public concerns about food safety are a supply chain issue.

Procurement in the food and drink industry in the early twenty‐first century is the topic of the fourth chapter. The changing role of procurement is explained in conjunction with contemporary strategic approaches including key account management, just in time and total quality management. Livestock systems and crop production are the focus of the subsequent two chapters. Chapter five outlines the major features of the UK livestock supply chains, including an historical overview and discusses contemporary dairy, white meat and red meat supply chains. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the UK red meat supply chain is on the verge of considerable change and discusses the associated pressures. Chapter six uses tables of data to give an overview of crop production in the UK. Potato and sugar beet supply chains are explained in detail and the complexities and areas for improvement are discussed.

The increasing demands on food manufacturers are examined in chapter seven. Sales trends and marketing strategies are illustrated using tables and graphs. The impact of global retailers on the supply chain is considered and strategies for survival for smaller scale food manufacturers are identified. Interaction with final consumers through retailing, wholesaling and catering is the topic of chapter eight. The chapter looks at the differences in customer base and how this impacts upon the strategies and operations employed. A number of tables and graphs supplement this chapter which concludes by addressing future developments.

Chapters nine through to 14 give special consideration to UK supermarket supply networks, third‐party logistics, temperature controlled supply chains, organic foods and the US supply chain. A useful case study of Tesco is included as chapter ten which highlights a new product development process and also the use of an innovative extranet system within the food supply chain. The final chapter deals with issues such as food supply chain agility, sustainability, green and reverse supply chains, collaboration and partnerships and the role of the Internet in the food supply chain. Disappointingly, this is a rather inadequate examination of key issues which demand more attention than an inclusion in chapter 15 and could have been developed within previous chapters of the text.

A study of this book in its entirety will promote an understanding of the UK food supply chain. However, an advantage in having such a wide range of contributors means that each of the chapters can be examined in its own right. This text should therefore equally appeal to those seeking a holistic view of food supply chain management and those who have a special interest in one or more of the topics considered.

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