Roles of Intermediaries in Developing Resilient Systems: A Community Approach to Food Micro-Producers

Roles of Intermediaries in Developing Resilient Systems: A Community Approach to Food Micro-Producers

Martin Hingley (University of Lincoln, UK) and Eliseo L. Vilalta-Perdomo (University of Lincoln, UK)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2133-4.ch003
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This theoretical chapter discusses the role that intermediaries may play in direct distribution, supply chains and supply networks. The first approach does not recognize benefits from striving for collaboration and avoids intermediaries' participation as much as possible. Conversely, the latter two emphasize the creation of economic and efficiency values, through the alignment of goals and resources directed by a stronger channel lead body. However, in the case of micro-producers, increasing these values is not the only motivation; lifestyle or esteem factors may be, for example, more potent drivers. The research extends multi-actor supply arrangements beyond chains and networks, by introducing the concept of supply communities. This is illustrated through a vignette of a regional food marketing umbrella group that plays an organizing role. Findings suggest intermediaries to act as triggers for collaboration. The complementary nature of the community approach suggests a framework for micro-businesses to strengthen their operations with existing traditional supply arrangements.
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Traditional supply chain literature focuses on economic drivers that contribute to solve challenges in complex issues; such as processing, transportation, warehousing and retailing, that provide goods and services according to end consumers’ requests (Chopra and Meindl, 2007; Slack, Brandon-Jones and Johnston, 2013; Greasley, 2008). In this context, further ideas such as value chain (Porter, 1985/2004), lean/agile strategies (Christopher 2000, Christopher, Peck and Towill, 2006), supply chain shortening (Renting, Marsden and Banks, 2003) and resilience (Ponomarov and Holcomb, 2009) have been incorporated into the conversation. In addition, ways of optimizing resources and improving supply chain performance have also been identified and applied; for instance, logistics management (Ballou, 1999), SCOR (Lockamy and McCormack, 2004) and globalization (Mangan, Lalwani, Butcher and Javadpour, 2012). Finally, related approaches have been developed, including generic strategies for organizations to outweigh competitors (Porter, 2008) or collaborative arrangements that alleviate internal deficiencies (Lampel, Mintzberg, Quinn and Ghoshal, 2014; Volberda, Morgan, Reinmoller, Hitt, Ireland and Hoskinsson, 2011).

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