ICT and Agricultural Cooperatives: Are They Prepared to Take Advantage of Business Opportunities?

ICT and Agricultural Cooperatives: Are They Prepared to Take Advantage of Business Opportunities?

Yolanda Montegut-Salla (University of Lleida, Spain), Eduard Cristóbal-Fransi (University of Lleida, Spain) and Maria Jesús Gómez-Adillón (University of Lleida, Spain)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2667-6.ch011


New technologies in information and communication technology are significantly impacting traditional business models, demonstrating how the relationship between the company and its corresponding value chain is changing in recent years due to the new possibilities they offer. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the current situation of Internet usage and electronic commerce in agri-food cooperatives in the province of Lleida, Spain. To this end, a questionnaire was completed by olive oil and sweet fruit cooperatives in 2010 that addressed the following aspects: computer equipment, Internet connection and presence, and finally, the level of electronic commerce. The results provide information on aspects to consider for ensuring that agricultural cooperatives take full advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies, resulting in a useful tool for the managers of these organizations as well as for policy makers concerned with encouraging and promoting the social economy.
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There is a degree of consensus on the existence of a positive relationship between the implementation of technologies and improvement in the performance of organizations on issues such as higher productivity, more customer satisfaction, value creation, and so on. These new technologies can intervene at various levels of the value chain and in different ways in cooperatives, not only with regard to acquiring hardware and software, but to generate added value through more efficient systems in the processes of communication, improve the analysis of information and greater access to it, better service for customers and members, shorten geographical distances or communicate quickly with multiple people simultaneously, among others (Montegut & Cristobal, 2010).

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