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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1132: XVIII International Symposium on Horticultural Economics and Management

Integrating responsibility within food supply chains - a conceptual model

Authors:   J. Jacob-John, N.K. Veerapa
Keywords:   food supply chains, ethics, transparency, model, sustainability, responsibility
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1132.13
With the advent of globalization, and the corresponding decrease in the number of barriers to international commerce, trade in the food industry spanned national and international boundaries. This phenomenal development has resulted in a plethora of food related contamination scandals. With the increasing complexity within the supply chain networks, it is imperative that all actors within the food supply chain operate in an ethical and sustainable manner and this paper illustrates a process model that will effectively bolster the ethical underpinning of a fresh produce supply chain. This paper evinces a structural conceptual model that facilitates the integration of responsibility within the operations of the organizations, within a fruit and vegetable supply chain. It also conceptualises a seven-tiered sequential model, the Vision to Innovation model (The V2I model) of responsibility, which has its foundation based on the congruence of the ethics related values, and Values consonance along its supply chain actors. The second element involves Communication among the supply chain elements; the successive elements include Implementation of ethical standards along the supply chain, the Monitoring systems, Control systems, Collaboration and finally, Innovation. This model accounts for responsibility-centricity along the entire supply chain and the implementation of this model, within the practical business world, would render an ethical climate for the industry. The authors postulate that this will positively influence the TRSQUOs of fresh produce supply chains, namely: Traceability, Testability, Transparency, Trust and Time. Currently minimal research on social responsibility and sustainability within the supply chain context is present and this paper contributes to such a gap in literature.

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