Factors Influencing Contractual Choice and Sustainable Relationships in European Agri-Food Supply Chains.Pdf

Topics: Sustainability, Supply chain management, Case study Pages: 25 (5329 words) Published: January 16, 2013
Rosella Pampanini and Gaetano Martino

Contributing to the Analysis of the Sustainability Management in the Organization of the Green Procurement: Theoretical Elements and Empirical Evidence from a Case Studie
Rossella Pampanini and Gaetano Martino
Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Food Science, University of Perugia, Italy martinog@unipg.it
1 Introduction
The introduction of the environmental dimensions within the Public Administration procurements and contracts is increasingly held as contribution to the sustainability of the chains governance. The so called Green Procurement (COM (2001) 274, l.n.488/1999) thus represents an important institutional innovation in Agri-Food Chains and it may potentially act as driver of changing toward a better rooted managerial approach to sustainability.

Fritz and Schiefer (2008) underline the variety in the definition of food chain and networks and the role of both the concept of cooperation (Omta et al., 2001) and of the evolution of business relationships. In this context the search for sustainability models requires that the long-term development paths have to balance the improvements in monetary benefit–cost balance and the society’s consideration of the benefit–cost balance to assure acceptance and sustainability. While interdisciplinary efforts are required in order to draw and to assess the patterns of change of the enterprises and of the chains (Fritz, Schiefer, 2008), the role of the governance structures and strategies has also to be investigated. The real meaning and scope of the sustainability management have to be carefully investigated and accounted for (Ilbery, Maye, 2005). Fischer et al. (2009) emphasize the role of firm level factors in designing the approaches to the management of sustainability. Despite the need for involving all the chains agents (Fritz, Schiefer, 2008), Hamprecht et al (2005) underline the difficulties in structuring efficient actions and patterns of behaviours at company level. The study defines the sustainable product as a product that has or aims at an improved environmental and social quality, which can be related back to the implementation of environmental and social standard (Seuring, Müller, 2008, p. 1705). An effective sustainability management is built upon strategies intended to promote and support of such kind of products. A robust Green Procurement strategy should rely on the long-term correlation among the three dimensions of the sustainability: economi c, environmental and social sustainability (Dillyick, Hockerts, 2002, p. 132). The Green Procurement strategies determine pressures on the food chain emphasizing the demand for sustainable products. As sustainable management practise and systems require an intensive coordination to be established along the chain agents, the Green Procurement is expected to strengthen the vertical coordination which characterizes the chain (Omta et. al., 2001). To contribute to the comprehension of this process it is worth to refer to the focus compa ny, i.e. a company which due to multiple reasons is able to direct the activity of the most of chain agents. In this context the study addressed two research questions: a) what are the strategies elaborated and implemented by the focal company in a Food Chain engaged in green product supply; b) does the strategy and the “green” supply rely on specific capability. The latter is just a part of a more general question concerning the competence s and capabilities potentially supporting the green supply. The study contends that: a) according to theoretical prediction (Seuring, Müller, 2008) specific pressures emerging on the demand side promote the adoption of sustainability management approaches; b) a specific capability is required in order to develop the basic strategies and that this contributes to the long term 3

Rosella Pampanini and Gaetano Martino

sustainability; c) these strategies and the managerial models related may exploit the...
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