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Building collaborative agri-food supply chains: The challenge of relationship development in the Scottish red meat chain

Leat, Philip, Revoredo-Giha, Cesar
British food journal 2008 v.110 no.4-5 pp. 395-411
livestock and meat industry, red meat, human food chain, interpersonal relationships, farmers, food marketing, beef cattle, sheep, meat products, farm surveys, interviews, consumers, food prices, Scotland
Purpose -- The purpose of this paper is to identify the attitudes and experiences of Scottish farmers in marketing their beef and sheep, and the nature of their marketing relationships. As such, it seeks to identify the challenges that the recently revised Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture may face with respect to the wider establishment of collaborative supply chains and the strengthening of links between beef and sheep farmers and other parts of the meat supply chain. Design/methodology/approach -- The approach involved a postal survey of beef and sheep producers throughout Scotland, with a sample which was representative in terms of regional and farm size distribution. In total 1,778 questionnaires were mailed, with a response rate of 34 per cent (n=611). In addition, interviews were held with major meat processors and retailers in order to provide a “reality check” for the information from the survey. Findings -- The results from the survey show that there are low levels of customer awareness amongst farmers in the red meat chain, and low levels of trust of other chain participants, particularly in relation to price. Originality/value -- The wisdom of developing collaborative supply chains is widely acknowledged throughout the European Union (EU), but such moves need an understanding of the attitudes and circumstances of the various supply chain participants. This paper is of value to practitioners (government, consultants and academia) as it highlights empirical issues that may hamper the development of collaborative supply chains.