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Supply chain collaboration for sustainability: a qualitative investigation of food supply chains in Brazil

Natália Rohenkohl do Canto (Management School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Marilia Bonzanini Bossle (Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio Grande do Sul ‐ IFRS, Viamao, Brazil)
Luciana Marques Vieira (FGV-EAESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Marcia Dutra De Barcellos (Management School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 25 September 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates how chain members collaborate to ensure the sustainability of supply chains through the social capital perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a case study design, three social capital mechanisms – reach, richness and receptivity – were used as a lens with two eco-innovative food companies and their respective supply chains in Southern Brazil. Data consisted of interviews and other sources of evidence obtained from multiple stakeholders.

Findings

Results highlight the importance of a managerial orientation for sustainability and that sustainable chains presuppose a network that is closely linked and with great affinity. Not only does the management of operations improve the green performance of companies for environmental benchmarking but it also expands to include the supply chain. Social capital mechanisms can encourage partners to develop strategic initiatives for sustainability, especially if managers share key drivers for adopting eco-innovations and overall chain sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to research on collaboration within sustainable supply chain management. Empirical data were gathered from different stakeholders in two food chains in a developing country. Through the lens of social capital mechanisms, the paper shows how different types of companies collaborate in their supply chain for sustainability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This study is financially sponsored by Edital Universal MCTI/CNPq 14/2014 ‐ 446915/2014-9 and a scholarship by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Call GM/GD, process 133122/2014‐0.

Citation

do Canto, N.R., Bossle, M.B., Vieira, L.M. and De Barcellos, M.D. (2020), "Supply chain collaboration for sustainability: a qualitative investigation of food supply chains in Brazil", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-12-2019-0275

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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