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Analyzing base-of-the-pyramid projects through sustainable supply chain management

Seuring, Stefan, Brix-Asala, Carolin, Khalid, Raja Usman
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.212 pp. 1086-1097
certification, cost effectiveness, data collection, interviews, monitoring, nongovernmental organizations, pineapples, risk management, supply chain, Kenya, Uganda
The purpose of this study is to apply a well-accepted framework from sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) to empirical data collected from base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) projects. This enables testing whether such SSCM constructs are also meaningful in a BoP context. A total of 45 interviews are conducted in the local dairy supply chain in Kenya (11) and the export-oriented pineapple supply chain in Uganda (34). Content analysis of the interview material and contingency analysis of the codes are applied to make sense of the data. The findings of the study show that customer pressures and demands drive related developments when third parties (non-governmental organizations [NGOs], certification agents, or middlemen) are involved in auditing and monitoring suppliers. This builds on communication and should drive related cost savings. The contingency analysis allows for interpreting the data in more detail and reframing the findings. Starting from environmental risk management, third-party involvement ensures that the minimum standards for environmental and social issues are being met. Communication and coordination with suppliers help creating win–win situations, while the aim of auditing and monitoring suppliers is to avoid trade-offs. The study tests established SSCM constructs in a BoP environment and contribute to understanding the relevance of particular supplier management-related processes and their outcomes.