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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Gustavo Magalhães de Oliveira, Gaetano Martino, Stefano Ciliberti, Angelo Frascarelli and Gabriele Chiodini

This study aims to investigate farmer preferences regarding sales contracts for durum wheat in Italy.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate farmer preferences regarding sales contracts for durum wheat in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors consider that contracts are formed by an organisational entity that is in charge of transferring decision and property rights based on reductions in transaction costs. The empirical analysis presents a discrete choice experiment with three distinct models that was performed by a survey of 160 wheat farmers in southern Italy.

Findings

The results show that contractual terms affect the probability of both a contract being signed and allocating decision rights due to their effects on price, technology and quality.

Practical implications

This study provides some insights on which contractual attributes could support the wider use of contracts along the durum wheat supply chain in Italy.

Originality/value

The paper reveals that contracts are relevant not only to the coordination of agri-food chains because of price stabilisation but also due to their impacts on technology and quality strategies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2018

Gaetano Martino and Paolo Polinori

The purpose of this paper is to consider how farmers cope with the uncertainty-related broiler process innovation in long-term contractual relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider how farmers cope with the uncertainty-related broiler process innovation in long-term contractual relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conceptualizes the process innovation implementation in terms of governance structure adaptation. The focus of the study is on the property and decision rights combination in process innovation implementation. It is argued that this approach highlights a key aspect of the nexus between governance mode and innovation within inter-firms relationships.

Findings

The results first show that the allocation of the decision rights between the farmer and the processor explains the process innovation implementation and, second, that the farmer contractual preferences are caused by the expected costs of the adaptation. Third, estimates of transaction and production costs variations are proposed.

Research limitations/implications

This study considers only the uncertainty stemming from the process innovation, whereas further uncertainty sources may influence the contract negotiation. Second, the lack of sample representativeness requires further information to be gathered. Finally, the investigation could be developed by modeling the farmer-processor negotiation.

Practical implications

The results indicate that effective governance structures in poultry production should give room to the adaptation in order to facilitate process innovation.

Originality/value

To conceptualize the process innovation implementation as an adaptation of the governance structure strengthens the knowledge of innovation in the sector context and contributes to the extent of the applied field of transaction cost economics.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Gaetano Martino, Enrica Rossetti, Andrea Marchini and Angelo Frascarelli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of the modes of organizing the technological knowledge (make, buy and hybrid organization) in the decision to innovate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of the modes of organizing the technological knowledge (make, buy and hybrid organization) in the decision to innovate the production process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study first develops a conceptual framework drawing the concept of mode of organization from the Transaction Cost Economics. The three research questions are coherently formulated which concern: the influence of the modes of organization on the decision to innovate and to invest in supporting instruments; the variability of this influence and the complementarity degree between the decision to innovate and to invest. The empirical analysis is carried out with respect to the olive oil sector considering a representative sample of olive millers (Umbria, Central Italy) and a complementary accidental sample drawn from an existing database.

Findings

The main results of the study provide evidence for the role of modes of organization in the knowledge acquisition finalized to the process innovation. The role of the “buy” option is important, while the collaboration – the “hybrid” organization – seems to influence strongly the innovation and the related investment decision. The important role of the information sources appears effective and articulated. Finally, despite the great economic importance of the quality requirements, the millers appear to be more sensitive to the difficulties to build up a clear process vision in terms of technology.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the study is that it refers to a specific supply system including small enterprises and does not account for the pattern of innovation in other olive oil production systems. Moreover, one of the samples that was observed and analyzed is accidental in nature and does not allow a clear and robust comparison for the representative sample.

Practical implications

The findings of this study can contribute to the identification of organizational constraints to the rate on process innovation.

Originality/value

The originality of the study is based on the main focus, i.e. the attention to the role of the modes of organization in the decision to innovate, which provides complementary information to the extant literature on the choice of modes of organizing the technological knowledge acquisition. Moreover, the conceptual framework and findings are connected to the current research on the variety of the agribusiness organizations which is still a partially explored field of inquiry.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Gaetano Martino and Paolo Polinori

The aim of this study is to the test the hypothesis that a network involved in the division of labour can contribute to individual skills creation.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to the test the hypothesis that a network involved in the division of labour can contribute to individual skills creation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is divided into two parts. First, it proposes and examines the fundamental of the hypothesis. In the second part, it reports the results of the investigation designed to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The hypothesis that task specification in organisational learning influences skills creation cannot be rejected. The evidence indicates that information on network integration of task specifications engages agents in problem solving and promotes skills creation according to opportunities of interaction in a structured context.

Originality/value

This study tests the hypothesis that a network involved in the division of labour can contribute to individual skills creation.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Floor H. W. Ambrosius, Gert Jan Hofstede, Bettina B. Bock, Eddie A.M. Bokkers and Adrie J.M. Beulens

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework that models farmers’ strategic decision making, taking into account that farmers adapt to institutional changes, given…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework that models farmers’ strategic decision making, taking into account that farmers adapt to institutional changes, given the social structure in which they are embedded.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a theoretical framework was developed using the reasoned action approach, innovation diffusion research, identity research, and the theory of structuration. Second, the framework was refined based on insights gained through semi-structured interviews with seven pork farmers and six pork farming experts on innovation decisions in general and added-value market adoption in particular.

Findings

The farmer decision-making framework distinguishes personal characteristics, social influence related to reference groups, and the institutional context that determines the space for manoeuvre. The interviews reveal the importance of context specific factors, such as trust in policy and market requirements, and point at general mechanisms of path dependency as a result of previous decision making and social influence related to identity reference groups.

Originality/value

The authors include feedback mechanisms between on the one hand social structure and institutional context, and on the other, farmer decision making. The framework is designed to explore the combined influence of factors of decision making on sector behaviour and study the relation between individual and collective behaviour.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Kristine Van Herck and Johan Swinnen

In the past decade, there has been a dramatic decline in agricultural employment in Bulgaria and several reports have pointed at supply chain modernisation and poor milk…

Abstract

Purpose

In the past decade, there has been a dramatic decline in agricultural employment in Bulgaria and several reports have pointed at supply chain modernisation and poor milk quality as the main reasons for the dramatic decline in the number of farms. However, to date the policy debate is been based on ad hoc claims, while there is relatively little micro-level evidence. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the determinants of structural change in the Bulgarian dairy sector in the period 2003-2009.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses the determinants of structural change in the Bulgarian dairy sector in the period 2003-2009, using a unique panel survey of 296 farm households in the North and South Central Region of Bulgaria. In order to control for sample attrition bias, the authors use a two-step Heckman model of farm survival and growth model.

Findings

The data confirms the rapid outflow of agricultural labour from dairy farming activities: 55 per cent of the farm households supplying milk to a dairy company in 2003 stopped supplying in 2009. The main reasons for quitting are ageing of the household, health problems and an increase in off-farm employment alternatives and not supply chain modernisation and milk quality standards. The institutional innovations which are associated with integration in modern supply chains, such as the provision of farm assistance programmes, have a positive impact on small farms’ growth.

Originality/value

The study is one of the first to use panel data to analyse the impact of standards on the survival and growth of small farms in value chains. The authors analyse the determinants of farm survival and growth in the Bulgarian dairy sector in the period 2003-2009, using panel surveys of 296 dairy farm households in the North and South Central Region of Bulgaria and panel data from interviews with dairy companies. The findings are relevant beyond the Bulgarian dairy sector as supply chain modernisation and changes in quality regulations are taken place in many other transition and developing countries.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Antonella Di Fonzo and Carlo Russo

Geographical Indications (GI) are complex and multi-purpose institutions. Their objectives include encouraging diversification of agricultural production, improving…

Abstract

Purpose

Geographical Indications (GI) are complex and multi-purpose institutions. Their objectives include encouraging diversification of agricultural production, improving farmers’ income, countering depopulation of rural areas, satisfying consumer demand for high-quality good, and protecting consumers from food fraud. The authors argue that such objectives are not necessarily aligned as divergence may arise among stakeholders (such as farmers, consumers or rural communities) about the optimal design of the GI. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed a simple, static game-theory model describing the basic choices that a planner faces in designing a GI.

Findings

The authors conclude that the optimal organization requires finding trade-offs among conflicting but equally desirable objectives. Perfect monitoring is not a sufficient condition to resolve such conflicts. Sub-consortia and flexible production agreements may increase the efficiency of a GI.

Research limitations/implications

The authors described basic trade-offs in GI design using the simplest possible model. To this purpose the authors introduced limiting assumptions that may be relaxed in future research. The representation of the GI agreement focussed on the quality level only, abstracting from all other consideration. Using a static model prevented us from explicit modeling of (loss of) reputation effects. The simplifying assumptions about consumer behavior and cost functions have reduced the generality of the results. Extensions of the model may consider introducing additional elements in the GI agreement such as production areas or governance models, dynamic games and general functional forms.

Practical implications

The authors found that in designing a GI: first, promotion approaches revolving around small groups of local leaders (i.e. efficient, high-quality producers) might overshoot quality, resulting in unsustainable production agreements; second, introducing degrees of flexibility in the production agreement may help achieving a sustainable GI; and finally, sub-consortia/optional labels may help dealing with producers’ heterogeneity.

Social implications

The authors found that setting a high standard in the production agreement is not sufficient condition for delivering quality food to consumers, as producers might have incentive to commit frauds. A simple command and control approach to quality in GI’s is not always the most efficient strategy, because it may reduce participation. In designing the GI, the goals of identity preservation and food quality must be balanced with consideration of producers’ incentives. The involvement of producers in the design of the GI is a critical success driver. Yet, this practice can be problematic because of producers’ heterogeneity.

Originality/value

The paper provides theoretical foundation for best practices in forming a GI, including: multi-stakeholder involvement, management of farmer heterogeneity and monitoring.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Sevasti Chatzopoulou

The need for food safety and food quality standards is acknowledged by public regulators, private actors, and the society. The purpose of this paper is to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

The need for food safety and food quality standards is acknowledged by public regulators, private actors, and the society. The purpose of this paper is to identify the types of actors in the multilevel transnational food chain regulatory governance and how their interlinking affects regulatory outcomes over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Food chain regulatory standards emerge within a complex process beyond the state. Based on interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, namely regulatory governance and political economy, this paper provides a integrative framework of analysis by identifying the types of actors and their interactions in the food chain regulatory governance.

Findings

Food chain regulatory standards setting have been mainly studied either from the public regulator or the firm self-regulating point of view. This paper demonstrates how the political and economics dynamics of the interactions among public and private actors operate within the transnational food standards setting process. The study identifies the groups of interdependent actors (public and private) that interact within the transnational food chain regulatory process and develop public-private regulations, self-regulations, and co-regulations over time. In this process, the actors’ different power, operational and regulatory capacity, experience, resources affect the regulatory outcome with socio-economic and governance implications.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not examine in detail how these interactions operate empirically on specific regulations.

Practical implications

The paper offers an integrative thorough understanding of the food chain regulatory standard setting process, relevant for academics, policy makers, the industry, and society.

Originality/value

The paper constitutes new research by identifying the actors and interactions in the integrative regulatory governance of the food chain standards.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Francesca Passuello, Stefano Boccaletti and Claudio Soregaroli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the governance implications of non-genetically modified (GM) voluntary private standards on the private label poultry meat…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the governance implications of non-genetically modified (GM) voluntary private standards on the private label poultry meat value chain of the leading Italian retailer. Considered aspects are: first, the organizational practices adopted along the chain to assure effective segregation; second, the changes in the characteristics and governance of the key transaction (meat processor-retailer); finally, what makes the chain economically sustainable.

Design/methodology/approach

A picture of the chain is obtained collecting information from the businesses involved; the snowball selection criterion is used in identifying people to interview. Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) is used to conceptualize the organizational changes in the meat processor-retailer transaction; the coherence of expected-actual variations in asset specificity, uncertainty and frequency, as well as of the observed governance with TCE predictions is assessed.

Findings

The creation of the non-GM chain required investments by both the key actors involved and the establishment of a partnership based on trust and mutual dependence. The increase in uncertainty coupled with the rise in asset specificity led to higher transaction costs, requiring a shift of the governance structure toward the right side of the market-hierarchy continuum to economize on costs and improve supply chain performance. TCE well explains the changes occurred. The retailer values the return on image as a strategic asset and bears the non-GM extra costs making the chain economically sustainable.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the findings are twofold. First, they help to identify the critical factors for an effective and economically sustainable segregation of non-GM products/raw materials along agro-food value chains. Second, they show how chain actors could adopt tighter governance structures in order to comply with binding technical and quality specifications, economize on transaction costs and improve supply chain performance.

Originality/value

Retailer-led private standards used as regulation and enforcement mechanisms in vertical relations, as well as their organizational implications in the governance of transactions between actors in agro-food value chains have received insufficient attention. This research contributes to fill out this gap.

1 – 10 of 21