Barriers and facilitators to developing sustainable networks: cases in UK local and regional food

Hingley, Martin and Lindgreen, Adam (2013) Barriers and facilitators to developing sustainable networks: cases in UK local and regional food. In: Sustainable value chain management: analyzing, designing, implementing, and monitoring for social and environmental responsibility. Gower, Aldershot. ISBN 9781409435082

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the role of local and regional food businesses within networks to present a sustainable food market. Interest in and demand for local and regional food is well documented, and the argument for (socially and environmentally) sustainable food has been well made. What remains unclear is how to create an environment that encourages the success of local and regional food. Is stimulation and support from local and regional authorities and support organisations necessary, or is their effect minimal and overly bureaucratic? Furthermore, what roles do businesses themselves play in their success; what factors support or hinder development? These issues are crucial, considering the extensive assistance granted to small rural food enterprises, at local, regional, national and European levels. If this assistance is not effective, it may be time to consider other means to support food chain sustainability and thus relieve some of the burden on resource-strapped public sector support agencies.

We begin with consumer and market rationales for the development of local and regional foods. Then we outline issues of business development from a corporate and network approach, consider the importance of the interplay of channel organisations and note their relative positioning, as influenced by channel and market power. We also review the changing business and support environment surrounding local and regional food network developments. In our methodological approach, we aim to consider both barriers to and facilitators of food network development, so we evaluate the contributions of various governmental, commercial and voluntary support agencies. Our empirical analysis draws on three representative local and regional food network cases in the United Kingdom. With a complementary mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, we gather data about these cases, then use market mapping to illustrate the roles of organisations in each case, along with their networks, core supply chain structures, the enabling environment and institutional roles for market development. In analysing each case and the cross-case findings, we lead into a discussion of barriers to and facilitators of development in local and regional food businesses in a network context. In the conclusion, we make several recommendations and pose managerial implications regarding the future development of local and regional food organisations and networks.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This chapter focuses on the role of local and regional food businesses within networks to present a sustainable food market. Interest in and demand for local and regional food is well documented, and the argument for (socially and environmentally) sustainable food has been well made. What remains unclear is how to create an environment that encourages the success of local and regional food. Is stimulation and support from local and regional authorities and support organisations necessary, or is their effect minimal and overly bureaucratic? Furthermore, what roles do businesses themselves play in their success; what factors support or hinder development? These issues are crucial, considering the extensive assistance granted to small rural food enterprises, at local, regional, national and European levels. If this assistance is not effective, it may be time to consider other means to support food chain sustainability and thus relieve some of the burden on resource-strapped public sector support agencies. We begin with consumer and market rationales for the development of local and regional foods. Then we outline issues of business development from a corporate and network approach, consider the importance of the interplay of channel organisations and note their relative positioning, as influenced by channel and market power. We also review the changing business and support environment surrounding local and regional food network developments. In our methodological approach, we aim to consider both barriers to and facilitators of food network development, so we evaluate the contributions of various governmental, commercial and voluntary support agencies. Our empirical analysis draws on three representative local and regional food network cases in the United Kingdom. With a complementary mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, we gather data about these cases, then use market mapping to illustrate the roles of organisations in each case, along with their networks, core supply chain structures, the enabling environment and institutional roles for market development. In analysing each case and the cross-case findings, we lead into a discussion of barriers to and facilitators of development in local and regional food businesses in a network context. In the conclusion, we make several recommendations and pose managerial implications regarding the future development of local and regional food organisations and networks.
Keywords:sustainable, food, barriers, facilitators, local, regional, UK
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N500 Marketing
N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:6974
Deposited By: Martin Hingley
Deposited On:27 Nov 2012 22:25
Last Modified:13 Jan 2014 18:29

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