Information Flows in a New Zealand Sheep Meat Supply Chain

Information Flows in a New Zealand Sheep Meat Supply Chain

Andreas Schroeder, Beverley G. Hope
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-231-2.ch003
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Recent outbreaks of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), foot-and-mouth disease, and bird flu have heightened awareness of traceability and information flows in agricultural industries. Existing supply chain research has focused on supply chains for manufactured goods, but the agricultural industry differs from manufacturing, being characterized by horizontal alliances and imprecise output predictions arising from uncontrollable factors such as weather and rates of natural increase. This chapter explores the downstream information flows in a sheep meat supply chain. It identifies stakeholders and the nature and efficiency of their information exchanges. Findings show that important information is generated in several tiers along the supply chain, but this information is not always shared and opportunities for increased supply chain competitiveness are lost. The lack of information sharing is explained by the unwillingness of partners to commit to tight contractual agreements, the lack of adequate technological infrastructure, and the absence of regulations mandating certain information flows.

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