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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Pedro Lafargue, Michael Rogerson, Glenn C. Parry and Joel Allainguillaume

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply…

1169

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply chain from retail product back to farm.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses qualitative data collection, including fieldwork at cocoa farms and chocolate manufacturers in Ecuador and the Netherlands and semi-structured interviews with industry professionals to identify challenges and create a supply chain map from cocoa plant to retailer, validated by area experts. A library of biomarkers is created using DNA collected from fieldwork and the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, holders of cocoa varieties from known locations around the world. Matching sample biomarkers with those in the library enables identification of origins of cocoa used in a product, even when it comes from multiple different sources and has been processed.

Findings

Supply chain mapping and interviews identify areas of the cocoa supply chain that lack the visibility required for management to guarantee sustainability and quality. A decoupling point, where smaller farms/traders’ goods are combined to create larger economic units, obscures product origins and limits visibility. These factors underpin a potential boundary condition to institutional theory in the industry’s fatalism to environmental and human abuses in the face of rising institutional pressures. Biomarkers reliably identify product origin, including specific farms and (fermentation) processing locations, providing visibility and facilitating control and trust when purchasing cocoa.

Research limitations/implications

The biomarker “meta-barcoding” of cocoa beans used in chocolate manufacturing accurately identifies the farm, production facility or cooperative, where a cocoa product came from. A controlled data set of biomarkers of registered locations is required for audit to link chocolate products to origin.

Practical implications

Where biomarkers can be produced from organic products, they offer a method for closing visibility gaps, enabling responsible sourcing. Labels (QR codes, barcodes, etc.) can be swapped and products tampered with, but biological markers reduce reliance on physical tags, diminishing the potential for fraud. Biomarkers identify product composition, pinpointing specific farm(s) of origin for cocoa in chocolate, allowing targeted audits of suppliers and identifying if cocoa of unknown origin is present. Labour and environmental abuses exist in many supply chains and enabling upstream visibility may help firms address these challenges.

Social implications

By describing a method for firms in cocoa supply chains to scientifically track their cocoa back to the farm level, the research shows that organizations can conduct social audits for child labour and environmental abuses at specific farms proven to be in their supply chains. This provides a method for delivering supply chain visibility (SCV) for firms serious about tackling such problems.

Originality/value

This paper provides one of the very first examples of biomarkers for agricultural SCV. An in-depth study of stakeholders from the cocoa and chocolate industry elucidates problematic areas in cocoa supply chains. Biomarkers provide a unique biological product identifier. Biomarkers can support efforts to address environmental and social sustainability issues such as child labour, modern slavery and deforestation by providing visibility into previously hidden areas of the supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Michael Rogerson and Glenn C. Parry

This paper aims to investigate how blockchain has moved beyond cryptocurrencies and is being deployed to enhance visibility and trust in supply chains, their limitations…

7131

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how blockchain has moved beyond cryptocurrencies and is being deployed to enhance visibility and trust in supply chains, their limitations and potential impact.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative analysis are undertaken via case studies drawn from food companies using semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Blockchain is demonstrated as an enabler of visibility in supply chains. Applications at scale are most likely for products where the end consumer is prepared to pay the premium currently required to fund the technology, e.g. baby food. Challenges remain in four areas: trust of the technology, human error and fraud at the boundaries, governance, consumer data access and willingness to pay.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that blockchain can be utilised as part of a system generating visibility and trust in supply chains. Research directs academic attention to issues that remain to be addressed. The challenges pertaining to the technology itself we believe to be generalisable; those specific to the food industry may not hold elsewhere.

Practical implications

From live case studies, we provide empirical evidence that blockchain provides visibility of exchanges and reliable data in fully digitised supply chains. This provides provenance and guards against counterfeit goods. However, firms will need to work to gain consumer buy-in for the technology following repeated past claims of trustworthiness.

Originality/value

This paper provides primary evidence from blockchain use cases “in the wild”. The exploratory case studies examine application of blockchain for supply chain visibility.

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2020

Michael Rogerson, Andrew Crane, Vivek Soundararajan, Johanne Grosvold and Charles H. Cho

This paper investigates how organisations are responding to mandatory modern slavery disclosure legislation. Experimentalist governance suggests that organisations faced…

2194

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates how organisations are responding to mandatory modern slavery disclosure legislation. Experimentalist governance suggests that organisations faced with disclosure requirements such as those contained in the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 will compete with one another, and in doing so, improve compliance. The authors seek to understand whether this is the case.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is set in the UK public sector. The authors conduct interviews with over 25% of UK universities that are within the scope of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and examine their reporting and disclosure under that legislation.

Findings

The authors find that, contrary to the logic of experimentalist governance, universities' disclosures as reflected in their modern slavery statements are persistently poor on detail, lack variation and have led to little meaningful action to tackle modern slavery. They show that this is due to a herding effect that results in universities responding as a sector rather than independently; a built-in incapacity to effectively manage supply chains; and insufficient attention to the issue at the board level. The authors also identity important boundary conditions of experimentalist governance.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the authors’ findings is restricted to the public sector.

Practical implications

In contexts where disclosure under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 is not a core offering of the sector, and where competition is limited, there is little incentive to engage in a “race to the top” in terms of disclosure. As such, pro-forma compliance prevails and the effectiveness of disclosure as a tool to drive change in supply chains to safeguard workers is relatively ineffective. Instead, organisations must develop better knowledge of their supply chains and executives and a more critical eye for modern slavery to be combatted effectively. Accountants and their systems and skills can facilitate this development.

Originality/value

This is the first investigation of the organisational processes and activities which underpin disclosures related to modern slavery disclosure legislation. This paper contributes to the accounting and disclosure modern slavery literature by investigating public sector organisations' processes, activities and responses to mandatory reporting legislation on modern slavery.

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2000

Abstract

Details

Panel Data and Structural Labour Market Models
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44450-319-0

Abstract

Details

The Handbook of Road Safety Measures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-250-0

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Krystyna Górniak‐Kocikowska

The purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of tensions between old and new in the emerging global society driven by information and communication technology…

2221

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of tensions between old and new in the emerging global society driven by information and communication technology (ICT); and to argue that creation of a theory of this society would contribute in the easing of these tensions.

Design/methodology/approach

The methods used in this paper are mostly analytical, descriptive, and qualitative. An analysis of the creation and development of ICT from a mathematical discipline of computer science to a universal tool and a driving force of the emerging global society, a development which is paralleled by the commercialization of ICT, is followed by two case studies illustrating the tensions between old and new and the role ICT plays in them. One case is centered on the challenges of traditional models of education by new, ICT‐friendly approaches, like the Multiple Intelligences Theory; the other addresses tensions between old and new that in many societies presently take the form of tensions between local/national and global.

Findings

A claim is formed that the existing tensions between old and new are closely linked to the tensions between the two most common forms of society, inclusive (egalitarian) and exclusive (elitist).

Originality/value

The paper will help understand some of the reactions to the process of globalization. It can serve as a tool for assessment and prediction regarding this process. Lastly, the paper contains a justification of merit in the creation of a “grass root” theory of an ICT‐driven global society built on a universally accepted ethical foundation.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 February 2005

Bernd Carsten Stahl

E‐Teaching as the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education is of growing importance for educational theory and practice. Many universities and…

Abstract

E‐Teaching as the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education is of growing importance for educational theory and practice. Many universities and other higher education institutions use ICT to support teaching. However, there are contradicting opinions about the value and outcome of e‐teaching. This paper starts with a review of the literature on e‐teaching and uses this as a basis for distilling success factors for e‐teaching. It then discusses the case study of an e‐voting system used for giving student feedback and marking student presentations. The case study is critically discussed in the light of the success factors developed earlier. The conclusion is that e‐teaching, in order to be successful, should be embedded in the organisational and individual teaching philosophy.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Ian Rogerson

57

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 51 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

K.G.B. Bakewell

Resource sharing is an important element inthe national planning of library andinformation services to meet the needs ofinformation, education and culture of thewhole…

Abstract

Resource sharing is an important element in the national planning of library and information services to meet the needs of information, education and culture of the whole community at all levels. An overview of resource sharing practices is presented, with particular reference to the British scene. It is also argued that, with the approach of the Single Market in 1992, resource sharing should now be considered on a European scale. In conclusion, some problems associated with the practice of resource sharing are considered.

Details

Library Management, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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