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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1258: XXX International Horticultural Congress IHC2018: XIX Symposium on Horticultural Economics and Management, VII Symposium on Supply Chains, II Symposium on Economics, Marketing and Consumer Research and VIII Symposium on Education and Consultancy

Strategic information flows within an Australian vegetable value chain

Authors:   J. Teese, P. Currey, S. Somogyi
Keywords:   information sharing, trust, commitment, coordination, culture, relationships
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1258.26
The successful operation of a horticultural value chain requires the entire chain to be aligned to the needs and wants of the consumer. Willingness to share strategic information with other firms in a value chain, including what the consumer wants and is willing to pay for, is influenced by an individual firmsí strategy, culture, structure and the external environment. Strategic information sharing between firms isnít well understood. To better understand strategic information sharing a case study was undertaken, interviewing 11 firms involved in an Australian vegetable value chain from seed supplier through to a food service provider. The relational view (trust and commitment) and the contingent resource based view were applied. The research identified trust and commitment between firms was built over time, however only with firms that shared a similar strategy and company culture. As relationships strengthened based on trust and commitment, collaboration between firms increased. Multi-tier strategic information sharing occurred between the seed company, grower and food service provider. This contradicts most research which shows information sharing doesnít extend beyond a firmís immediate supplier and customer. Drives for sharing strategic information were new product development, better meeting consumer needs and increasing efficiencies as a chain. Strategic information was often shared in an ad-hoc way when operational information was being shared between firms. When solving specific problems or engaging in new product development there was a more formal structure to strategic information sharing.

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