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Integration maturity analysis for a small citrus producers' supply chain in a developing country

Diego León Peña Orozco (Ingeniería Industrial, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Guadalajara de Buga, Colombia)
Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu (Excelia Group, La Rochelle, France)
Leonardo Rivera (Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia)
Camilo Andres Mejía Ramirez (Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 26 March 2021

Issue publication date: 17 May 2021




The purpose of this research is to determine the convenience of using a contract model as an integration mechanism for decision-making in a decentralized supply chain of small agricultural producers in a developing country, taking as hypothesis coordinated chain achieves better management. The analysis is based on information obtained by direct inquiry to 99 small producers in the region, about planning, production, marketing and distribution in the chain, supplemented with secondary information sources.


As a methodology an analysis of maturity in the chain based on the Capability Maturity Model Integration is done, whose evaluation is later analyzed as a fuzzy logic model, with the support of the fuzzy logic of the MATLAB toolbox, to study the convenience of the use of the contract against the other mechanisms, and to establish an approximation to the level of readiness of the chain toward integration.


Results obtained show that the small farmer supply chain studied, from a maturity perspective, has a strong disposition for the use of contracts as an integration mechanism.

Research limitations/implications

The supply chain for small producers presents a high dispersion, little consolidated offer capacity and lack of coordination. Limitations in terms of information and criteria unification are a challenge for future research. Results have socioeconomic implications for small producers and can serve as a guide to formulate policies by the governments in Latin American countries.

Practical implications

As practical implications, it can be stated that the use of supply contracts is a real mechanism that can be implemented in this type of chain, to break the mistrust between the echelons and improve the supply chain performance. This research will allow to establish support programs from local governments for the sustainability and improving income of small producers. In addition, contracts will allow to formalize the linkage of small producers to a sustainable commercial network.

Social implications

Small agricultural producers in developing countries live in unfavorable conditions, with socioeconomic limitations. This work offers an alternative for their productive activity development that will allow them access to marketing chains in a safe way and improve their living conditions.


Previous studies related to the maturity toward the chain integration and fuzzy logic as a hybrid methodology, were not found in the literature, and less even applied to a chain of small agricultural products.



The authors would like to thank the following: ASOHOFRUCOL Valle del Cauca and its director, Engineer Juan Carlos Valencia; Secretariat of Economic Development of the Mayor’s Office of the Municipality of Andalucia Valle del Cauca; the ASOCAMPOALEGRE association led by the Agricultural Administrator Manuel Andrés Jiménez Hidalgo and its board of directors; Mr. Wilmer Viedma Murillo, president of the Valle del Cauca citrus committee and Mr. Aldemar from ASOCAMPOALEGRE, who was the guide in each of the extensive days of interviewing group for the collection of information. The authors would also like to thank each and every one of the 99 small producers in the rural areas of El Salto, Campo Alegre, Tamboral, Zanjón de Piedras, El Oriente, Monte Hermoso, Madre Vieja, Zabaletas, for providing the authors with the information for the development of this research. Also to the intermediaries in the area who very kindly allowed the authors to learn about the work carried out within their commercialization process.


Peña Orozco, D.L., Gonzalez-Feliu, J., Rivera, L. and Mejía Ramirez, C.A. (2021), "Integration maturity analysis for a small citrus producers' supply chain in a developing country", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 836-867.



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