A Critical Analysis of Supply Chain Integration in the Agro-Food Industry
Posted: 22 Oct 2012
Date Written: February 23, 2012
Supply chain integration has become the recent attention and debate in the supply chain management mainstream and literature. It also holds key elements to supply chain performances, through both internal and external integration. Furthermore, the discussion of the supply chain integration has shifted into broader view by including, but not limited to the customer relationship management, but also managing supplier more intensively. There are several papers have pointed out the importance of supply chain integration for the continuity of a corporation, and hence, this paper become relevant from both academic and practical point of view.
Many supply chains in the agro-food sector deal with commodities, where rather no supply chain management takes place (e.g. the difference between supply chain and supply chain management in Mentzer et al, 2001). Yet, in the agro-food sector, integration is viewed as an important lever in managing risk and information in the food chain. This has been influenced by the occurrences of food alerts and hazards in the last decades, which grows concern of consumers of the safety of the food that they consumed and damaging product brands and reputation. Yet, while the topic seems to be essential, few contributions are available explaining key factors of integration in the agro-food chain. Hence, overall, it seems unclear, what level of supply chain integration would be required based on what contingencies.
This aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it discusses requirements and limitations of supply chain integration in agro-food chains. Second, it proposes a conceptual framework to summarize the research in this field. The result shows that the level of trust, transparency and past collaboration becomes the major factors in the integration of agro-food chain. Furthermore, directions for further research in the field will be provided.
Keywords: Supply Chain Integration, Agro-Food Chain, Limit to Integration, Conceptual
JEL Classification: Q10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation