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Article

Franco Müller Martins, Jacques Trienekens and Onno Omta

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships between coordination mechanisms (CMs) and quality requirements used to support transactions in the Brazilian pork chain.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships between coordination mechanisms (CMs) and quality requirements used to support transactions in the Brazilian pork chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the transaction cost economics theory, the paper focuses on the alignment between CMs and quality requirements. The results were obtained by means of interviews (n=41) with public and private actors, including the main companies and other stakeholders in the Brazilian pork sector. The research addresses regulations, requirements of customers and supporting CMs used in different transaction contexts.

Findings

In the Brazilian pork sector, five transaction contexts can be distinguished: spot market, mini integration, singular cooperative, central cooperative and investor-owned firm. The chain actors apply different CMs to support a set of quality requirements which presents little diversity. The main quality requirements are driven by baseline public regulations. Besides, there are, in particular international, customers with more specific requirements. To support transactions, chain actors use different contracts in terms of resource allocation and price incentives.

Originality/value

Literature assumes alignment between governance structures (GSs) and quality standards. This paper further investigates this assumption by analyzing the relationships between CMs (underlying GSs) and quality requirements (underlying quality standards). The research findings show that similar quality requirements may well be supported by different CMs. It further gives indications on why different CMs are used to support a homogeneous set of requirements.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Annemarie Groot-Kormelinck, Jacques Trienekens and Jos Bijman

The aim of this paper is to study the influence of quality standards on contract arrangements in food supply chains.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to study the influence of quality standards on contract arrangements in food supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative double case study was conducted on the dairy and citrus sectors in Uruguay. A transaction cost theoretical framework was used. All current public and private quality standards applied by processors were studied in relation to contract arrangements between processors and upstream producers as well as downstream buyers for each sector.

Findings

Quality standards complement contract arrangements for upstream transactions, leading to hierarchy-type contract arrangements. Quality standards substitute contract arrangements for downstream transactions, leading to market- or hybrid-type contract arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

Longitudinal studies that measure changes in contract arrangements over time are recommended.

Practical implications

Supply chain actors can reduce transaction costs by aligning quality standards with appropriate contract arrangements – further supported by public instruments.

Originality/value

Quality standards have differential influence on underlying transaction characteristics, and therefore on contract arrangements, depending on the location of the transaction in the supply chain.

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Article

Melissa van der Merwe, Johann F. Kirsten and Jacques H. Trienekens

This paper aims to make an empirical contribution by investigating the enforcement mechanisms and governance structures required to protect and govern a regional food…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to make an empirical contribution by investigating the enforcement mechanisms and governance structures required to protect and govern a regional food product when public certification fails. As one of the recent additions to South Africa’s repertoire of products with a designated origin, Karoo Lamb made for an interesting case study.

Design/methodology/approach

A conjoint analysis was conducted to elicit the farmers’ preferred enforcement mechanisms to protect the authenticity of the Karoo Lamb product. The investigation, furthermore, draws on survey data collected among 73 farmers, five abattoirs, two processors/packers and five retail outlets to evaluate the governance structures of the Karoo Lamb supply chain.

Findings

The results indicate that due to failed public certification that is governed by market-like structures, Karoo Lamb is better off being governed by hierarchical structures. These structures are expected to allow for a stronger focus on stricter enforcement mechanisms.

Practical implications

At the farm level, the Karoo Lamb supply chain requires better enforcement mechanisms to protect the unique attributes of origin and taste to ensure the authenticity of Karoo Lamb. This change towards stricter enforcement requires more hierarchical structures to allow for private or mutual enforcement mechanisms.

Originality/value

This paper contributes empirically to the governance structure knowledge base by analysing the enforcement mechanisms and governance structures needed to enforce and protect, the quality and origin standards of a region of origin product, Karoo Lamb, in South Africa.

Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Hualiang Lu, Jacques H. Trienekens, S.W.F. (Onno) Omta and Shuyi Feng

Following a guanxi value – buyer‐seller relationship quality – marketing behaviour scheme, this paper aims to explore how traditional guanxi supports small vegetable…

Abstract

Purpose

Following a guanxi value – buyer‐seller relationship quality – marketing behaviour scheme, this paper aims to explore how traditional guanxi supports small vegetable farmers in modern markets in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Fieldwork was performed in Jiangsu Province, PR China. A stratified random sample of 167 vegetable farmers provided data for empirical testing with partial least squares analysis.

Findings

The findings suggested that the value of guanxi networks is an antecedent to buyer‐seller relationship quality and marketing behaviour in China. Guanxi networks improve the quality of buyer‐seller relationships in terms of interpersonal trust and satisfaction. Buyer‐seller relationships influence smallholders' transaction relationships, their participation in modern markets and choice for formal contracts. Guanxi networks not only support Chinese small‐scale vegetable farmers to get access to modern high‐value markets (e.g. supermarkets and international markets), but also encourage informal transactions in the vegetable business.

Practical implications

Guanxi networks play a critical role in the modern marketing environment in China. Marketing strategies based on personal relationships should be further enhanced in order to increase participation of smallholders in modern markets.

Originality/value

Quantitative evaluation of the effects of the Chinese cultural embedded concept of guanxi in the Chinese agrifood sector fills in an important research gap.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Hualiang Lu, Shuyi Feng, Jacques H. Trienekens and S.W.F. Omta

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of network strength, transaction‐specific investments and inter‐personal trust on business relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of network strength, transaction‐specific investments and inter‐personal trust on business relationship satisfaction for small‐and‐medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in agri‐food processing and exporting in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data collected from 80 agri‐food SMEs in Jiangsu Province were used for empirical testing. The authors applied an ordered logit regression approach for model estimation.

Findings

The results demonstrate that strong guanxi networks, high level of transaction‐specific investments and inter‐personal trust significantly contribute to a high level of relationship satisfaction for agri‐food SMEs in China. In addition, inter‐personal trust shows a moderating effect on the relationship between transaction‐specific investments and relationship satisfaction.

Practical implications

Business relationships play a critical role in the modern market environment. Relational arrangements (based on guanxi and inter‐personal trust) should be further enhanced in order to yield satisfied business relationships for SMEs in China.

Originality/value

The paper extends our understanding of relationship (guanxi) marketing, as well as marketing practices for agri‐food SMEs in China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article

Guangqian Peng, Jacques Trienekens, S.W.F. (Onno) Omta and Wensheng Wang

The aim of this paper is to extend the understanding of the configuration of inter-organizational information exchange (IOIE) and the role of each aspect of IOIE in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to extend the understanding of the configuration of inter-organizational information exchange (IOIE) and the role of each aspect of IOIE in realizing potential communication benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework on the configuration of IOIE was developed by examining the relationships between companies in the poultry supply chain in China. A sample of 165 buying companies and a sample of 96 sellers were analyzed by partial least square modeling.

Findings

Communication willingness plays a critical role in improving communication quality and realizing potential communication benefits. Modern media remain as a huge potential opportunity for improving performance. Meanwhile, the power of face-to-face communication should never be neglected, even in the coming Information Age. Higher communication frequency contributes to better understanding of companies' changing requirements and expectations. Taking use of senior managers and staff from different functions helps sellers grasp better changing markets. Communication quality is found as a multi-dimensional concept and plays a critical mediating role in realizing communication benefits.

Originality/value

The proposition of the model of configuration of inter-organizational information exchange and the quantitative empirical examination of the model fills an important research gap.

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Article

Jacques Trienekens, Ruud van Uffelen, Jeremy Debaire and Onno Omta

This paper aims to bridge the concepts of innovation and performance and to develop a framework to assess innovation and performance in food chains.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to bridge the concepts of innovation and performance and to develop a framework to assess innovation and performance in food chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an extensive literature search the paper identifies critical success factors (CSFs) and related indicators for innovation in food chains, on the one hand, and performance in food chains, on the other. Main CSF categories for innovation are: product, process, market and organization. Main CSF categories for performance are: efficiency, responsiveness, quality and flexibility. A chain process model is developed that enables one to identify main chain processes that impact on innovation and performance. A trade‐off matrix is constructed in which effects of innovations on performance and vice versa in typical chain processes can be identified.

Findings

This article reviewed available supply‐chain innovation and performance indicators and models and methods used to assess performance and innovation within fruit supply chains. Based on the existing literature a conceptual framework for assessing innovation and performance of companies in the European fruit supply chain has been developed. The framework consists of a supply chain process model and an innovation‐performance matrix which have been successfully applied to several cases along the apple chain in The Netherlands.

Practical implications

The chain process model and matrix are applied in an integrated way to the Dutch fruit chain. An apple grower case and a fruit cooperative case are worked out. Managers in food chains can use the framework to assess their company's innovations and performances.

Originality/value

The paper aims to bridge the concepts of innovation and performance. Literature and research on this subject are minimal.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Laure Clasadonte, Elizard de Vries, Jacques Trienekens, Pedro Arbeletche and Jean‐François Tourrand

South America is an important agricultural producer. Farming is characterized by the availability of vast areas of land, a reasonable climate and low cost. These…

Abstract

Purpose

South America is an important agricultural producer. Farming is characterized by the availability of vast areas of land, a reasonable climate and low cost. These conditions have led South America to be an important supplier of agricultural goods on the world market. Traditionally farmers owned some hundreds of acres and invested their money in all kinds of assets, i.e. land, buildings and equipment. A new phenomenon has emerged in this area i.e. farming companies. These companies have capital but do not own assets. They rent what they need, i.e. land, work force, machinery, transportation, storage and manage from 15,000 ha to 330,000 ha. The purpose of this paper is to determine the perspective of network companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Representatives of 11 network companies in Uruguay and Argentina were interviewed, which provided the opinions of 81 interviewees.

Findings

The most important conclusion of this research is that, though sometimes these companies are called in a pejorative way pools de siembra, network companies might bring prosperity to the members of their supply chain and to a larger extent to the rural population of South America. The possibilities to reduce risk with regards to bad weather, to optimize the combination of soil and crop, and to realize economies of scale are the main factors for this success.

Originality/value

The size and number of network companies is steadily growing and this study contributes to a large debate taking place in Argentina and Uruguay, in order to assess the real impacts of these companies on the economy, environment and population.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 115 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Valeria Sodano, Martin Hingley and Adam Lindgreen

The aim of this paper is to assess the welfare effects of the newest trends in food safety policies characterised by the shift from public to private intervention.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to assess the welfare effects of the newest trends in food safety policies characterised by the shift from public to private intervention.

Design/methodology/approach

Food safety policies are analysed through concepts of new economic sociology, with a critical review of the literature on social capital.

Findings

The article shows that as food safety and quality attributes responsible for the exchange complexity are simply codified and enforced through standards and third‐party certification, the global value chain governance shifts from a relational type to a power‐based type, with possible negative welfare effects.

Research limitations/implications

Further research would be required to verify the welfare effects suggested on the theoretical ground.

Practical implications

The article makes a useful updating of food safety policies and organisational innovation in the food system.

Originality/value

The paper introduces some new (with respect to the marketing literature related to the food system) concepts and theories of economic sociology.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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