“While there is little doubt that prices in a multiple supermarket are a good deal cheaper than in a corner grocer, among the multiples as a whole prices are remarkably similar, sometimes identical. Competition seems to be confined to price cuts on a few items,” says Spencer Henson, lecturer in food economics at Reading University, in a chapter on food retailing in Your Food: Whose Choice?, edited by the National Consumer Council and published recently by HMSO, price £10.95p.
The chapter contributes to on-going debates about the inclusion of smallholders in export value chains for high-value agricultural products. Specifically, it investigates…
The chapter contributes to on-going debates about the inclusion of smallholders in export value chains for high-value agricultural products. Specifically, it investigates the factors driving the procurement practices of exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa, and specifically sourcing from smallholders. A survey is undertaken of exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa. The resulting data are used to estimate econometrically the propensity of exporters to source from smallholders, and the intensity of sourcing among those exporters who do procure from smallholders. Explanatory variables include firm and market characteristics, supply chain costs, type of product, availability of alternative sources of supply, and judgments regarding the performance of smallholders and other sources of supply.The propensity to procure from smallholders is found to be negatively associated with being a small exporter and the performance of medium- and large-scale producers. Exporters are more likely to source from smallholders if they have their own production capacity and smallholders are judged to perform well. The requirement of customers to comply with private food safety standards is found to have no significant effect on the propensity to procure from smallholders. Conversely, compliance with private standards has a strong influence on the intensity of sourcing from smallholders. Exporters judging smallholders to perform well are more likely to source intensively from smallholders, but to source less if they judge their own production to perform well. High fixed costs tend to be associated with lower intensity of sourcing from smallholders. The results suggest that compliance with private food safety standards does not drive the exclusion of smallholders from export value chains; indeed, conversely, the requirement to comply with such standards is associated with greater intensity of sourcing from smallholders. Smallholders evidently play a key role in the defrayment of risk by exporters in that many exporters combine their own production with smallholder procurement. Costs of procurement from smallholders, however, remain an issue. Evidently, the fixed costs of smallholder supply chains increase appreciably with the intensity of sourcing. The research reported here provides a new perspective on the inclusion of smallholders in export value chains for horticultural products. The incorporation of smallholders into these value chains is seen as the outcome of the procurement decisions of exporters. Contrary to much of the discourse in this area, the results suggest that smallholders can and do compete in export value chains for horticultural products even in the context of exacting food safety standards.
Presents the results of a postal questionnaire to UK food and drink manufacturers on the costs of compliance with food regulation. In particular, the questionnaire focused…
Presents the results of a postal questionnaire to UK food and drink manufacturers on the costs of compliance with food regulation. In particular, the questionnaire focused on the usefulness of compliance cost assessments ‐ introduced by the Government in 1985 across all government departments as an analytical tool for assessing the regulatory costs to business ‐ as they relate to food businesses. Explains that the questionnaire sought to establish to what extent food companies actually costed the impact of food regulation on their business operations and explored other aspects of food regulation, such as the benefits and constraints. Reports the results which gave some unexpected insights on the costs of compliance with food regulation. For example, the majority of respondents were not aware that the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food carried out compliance cost assessments on food regulation; around two‐thirds of the sample found it “difficult” or “very difficult” to identify where compliance costs would affect their company and an even greater proportion (more than three‐quarters) said they would have problems quantifying compliance costs. Concludes that the compliance cost assessment, as a tool for helping to analyse the cost of food regulation on businesses, is an inappropriate method for the food sector and the development of new methods should be considered.
Directive 93/43/EEC introduced the concept of good hygiene practice, in response to a pan‐European increase in the incidence of food poisoning, to foster a preventive…
Directive 93/43/EEC introduced the concept of good hygiene practice, in response to a pan‐European increase in the incidence of food poisoning, to foster a preventive approach to food safety. UK legislation reinforces the EU position that food businesses are responsible for the implementation of good hygiene practices. The response of the food industry has been to develop audited standards of hygiene, higher than explicit legal requirements. Small businesses have, however, been slow to adopt industry hygiene standards. A case study of small manufacturers of ready to eat meat products investigated the reasons for this. Businesses were first audited to the EFSIS standard, to compare current practice with recommended best practice. Second, technical managers or owner‐managers were interviewed, to gain an insight into their knowledge of industry standards in particular, and the process of hygiene management in general. The analysis found significant differences in the knowledge of technical managers and owner‐managers, with the latter often unaware of the existence of audited standards. It is argued, therefore, that, in order to increase the implementation of good hygiene practices, further programmes to inform small food businesses about industry standards are required.
To identify points of similarity and differences of emphasis between internalisation theory and global value chain (GVC) theory and to highlight how the latter’s…
To identify points of similarity and differences of emphasis between internalisation theory and global value chain (GVC) theory and to highlight how the latter’s particular approach is useful in analysing the impact of private sustainability standards.
Review of some key texts and reviews of internalisation theory combined with author’s reflections on GVC theory based on his contributions to its development.
GVC theory shares much common ground with the internalisation theory of international business, but their different starting points lead to different strengths and weaknesses. Internalisation theory is strong on the logic of decisions by transnational companies to internalise or externalise their activities. GVC theory is strongest in its consideration of how and why companies manage externalised activities in different ways, and its theory of network governance focuses on how governance challenges change in response to market requirements, shifts in the break point between enterprises, the role of codification in simplifying governance and the control of activities across multiple links in value chains. These factors explain how private and public–private standards in the field of sustainability are both a response to new external demands on value chains and, simultaneously, a means of reducing the complexity of governance challenges that such demands create.
Originality and value
Few attempts have been made to compare the two theories, and value chain theorists have not engaged with the international business literature. The chapter highlights the scope for a continuing and more systematic comparison of the two literatures.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the financial performance of microenterprises in Ghana by applying the resource‐based theory of the firm. Specifically, it is tested…
The purpose of this paper is to assess the financial performance of microenterprises in Ghana by applying the resource‐based theory of the firm. Specifically, it is tested that if firm‐specific resources dominate sector and market‐wide effects in explaining microenterprise performance, as suggested by the resource‐based theory.
The relevant literature for both microenterprise performance and the resource‐based theory is reviewed. Data from the 1998/1999 Ghana Living Standards Survey are analysed using ordinary least squares, followed by robustness checks.
Factors embodied in firm‐specific resources jointly impact enterprise performance. However, sector/market factors also play a role, suggesting that the interaction between microenterprise, sector, and market factors helps explain enterprise performance.
All the constructs of the resource‐based theory cannot be tested due to data limitations.
Small enterprises play a key role in promoting developing country growth, but no study has evaluated microenterprise performance using this particular data set and the resource‐based theory of the firm. Future research should focus on collecting data to further validate this theory.
John C. Beghin is the Marlin Cole Professor of International Agricultural Economics in the economics department at Iowa State University (ISU). He is the former director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at ISU which he led from 1999 to 2007. He is a leading scholar on agricultural trade policy analysis, with a long-term interest in nontariff measures. He has held positions at North Carolina State University, the OECD Development Centre, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, the International Labor Office, and the University of Sydney. He has consulted for various international and governmental agencies and private clients including the American Farm Bureau Federation, FAO, OECD, US Army Corps of Engineers, US General Accountability Office, the US Grains Council, and the World Bank among others. He holds a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research work has appeared in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Canadian Journal of Economics, Ecological Economics, Economics Letters, Environment and Development Economics, Health Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, Review of Economics and Statistics, and World Development, among other journals.