Improving entry into food supply chains by SME local producers

Vilalta-perdomo, Eliseo Luis and Hingley, Martin (2013) Improving entry into food supply chains by SME local producers. In: OR55 Conference – Community & Third Sector OR Stream, 3 – 5 September, 2103 , University of Exeter.

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Abstract

We are committed to the development of knowledge which supports sustainable value for market, chain and network stakeholders, in particular SMEs related to food industries and services. Different authors have discussed diverse configurations for mass distribution of food across borders and regions, but efforts to develop special, local, sustainable and innovative food markets and supply chains are fragmented. Several definitions and theories are available to save this obstacle: Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises (European Commission, 2005); supply chains (Christopher, 2005; Sanders, 2012); cooperation (Axelrod, 1990); relationships and networks (Barabasi, 2003), and systems theory (Checkland, 1999; Stowell and Welch, 2012). We are exploring their potential contributions to enrich our exploration.
However, the main challenge we confront seems to be that sources for improvement and participants’ aims are not (and won’t be) necessarily aligned. To explore this condition, Community OR literature and practice is an attractive source for inspiration as it can help to discuss contributions that methodologies and analytical modelling tools available offer to support non-externally-driven communities (in this case SMEs constituting Supply Chains) in their task of improving their participants’ performance.
Our first task is developing a research design to explore the intersection between two related topics: (a) supply chains – specifically ways for supporting different stakeholders (self-) organisation, and (b) local food challenges –e.g. local autonomy vs. global variety; security and resilience; skills maintenance and development inside the (local) workforce, and the impact of different business configurations in the viability of communities of producers.

Keywords:Food supply chain, Community OR, Food microproducers
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N240 Retail Management
N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:12005
Deposited On:03 Oct 2013 07:56

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