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An analysis of value in an organic food supply chain

Luciana Marques Vieira (Business School, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos/Unisinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil)
Marcia Dutra De Barcellos (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Alexia Hoppe (Business School, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos/Unisinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil)
Silvio Bitencourt da Silva (Business School, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense/UNESC, Criciúma, Brazil)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 21 October 2013




Several studies focus on agri-food value chain from a consumer or from a supply chain perspective. But there is little investigation integrating both approaches and providing empirical evidence from developing countries. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it describes the supply chain of organic products in Brazil, which is an emerging market. It describes how retailers manage its supply chain (wholesalers and small producers) in an organic own brand of fresh products. Second, this paper identifies the motivations, attitudes, beliefs and personal values behind Brazilian consumers' decision to purchase organic food.


Qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in two stages. First, it presents a case study of the organic supply chain. Then, a survey carried out with 261 consumers at supermarkets in a Brazilian city is presented.


The case study points out that retailers transfer to wholesalers the responsibility to manage small organic producers. It also suggests that as the organic product is under the retailer own brand, and therefore most of the value perceived by the consumer is retained by the retailer. Survey results indicate that organic consumers have strong individual values and benefits are the most significant predictors of attitude toward organic food for the Brazilian consumers interviewed. Availability is significantly related to the intent to purchase organic food, which is a key point for the supply chain to respond efficiently to consumers' demand.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on a single case study and the survey is applied in only one city of Brazil.


The study contributes to expand the value analysis through a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, including consumer behaviour and supply chain management in the same analysis. It also adds to the debate on value, proposing Schwartz Value Theory as a complementary approach to value analysis.



The authors are grateful for both funding received from the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology (CNPq) and scholarship from the Brazilian Ministry of Education (CAPES).


Marques Vieira, L., Dutra De Barcellos, M., Hoppe, A. and Bitencourt da Silva, S. (2013), "An analysis of value in an organic food supply chain", British Food Journal, Vol. 115 No. 10, pp. 1454-1472.



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