Does Length Matter?: An exploratory study on the current state of producers in Short Food Supply Chains
Abstract: Background: The relevance of the food system for economic, environmental and social well-being is vital to consider. However, there is a lack of research covering issues and performance assessments of the supply chains in the food industry. Due to pressures on the natural environment and unsustainable production and distribution, Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC’s) have arisen as an alternative model to conventional supply chains. However, there is a need for more research in the field as its showing to be a growing trend in the food industry. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to study the topic of SFSC, where the focus in this paper is to explore what advantages and barriers food producers experience when operating within a SFSC. Method: This study is exploratory and follows an inductive and qualitative approach, where 6 semi-structured interviews with local food producers were used to collect data. The data was analysed and connected to previous literature using a thematic analysis. Conclusion: The findings in this research illuminates that the advantages and barriers from selling through SFSC´s depends on the circumstances of the channel and the characteristics of the producers. They experienced advantages in their organization such as a high professional satisfaction, fair compensation and autonomy. The social proximity between the actors also facilitated the management of information and allowed for supply chain flexibility. However, producers also faced barriers such as the lack of proper governance in the SFSC channels, and logistical challenges such as the uncertainty of production and the difficulty of ensuring the efficiency of transportations. The analysis of SFSC’s is still in its early stages and the necessary innovations to attain the full positive effects have yet to be implemented.
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