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Journal cover: British Food Journal

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Online from: 1899

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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An analysis of collaboration in a sugarcane production and processing supply chain

Document Information:
Title:An analysis of collaboration in a sugarcane production and processing supply chain
Author(s):Carel Nicolaas Bezuidenhout, (School of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, South Africa), Shamim Bodhanya, (Leadership Centre, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, South Africa), Linda Brenchley, (Nelspruit, South Africa)
Citation:Carel Nicolaas Bezuidenhout, Shamim Bodhanya, Linda Brenchley, (2012) "An analysis of collaboration in a sugarcane production and processing supply chain", British Food Journal, Vol. 114 Iss: 6, pp.880 - 895
Keywords:Collaboration, SCCI, Sugar, Sugar industry, Supply chain, Supply chain management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00070701211234390 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This research was funded by the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI). Prof. Peter Lyne from SASRI is thanked for his guidance and valuable inputs. Trevor Baier, Chikondi Dlamini, Devon Neethling, Tahir Jassat and David Matten are thanked for a wide range of logistical, editorial and research assistance provided during the study. The authors would also like to thank the various industry stakeholders who gave up their time to participate in a number of interviews and workshops. Administration and support staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal are thanked for their continuous support.

Purpose – Sugar from cane remains an important economic contributor in many countries. A lack of collaboration has been identified as a key problem in many of these regions. To date, few sugar researchers have exploited the valuable supply chain collaboration knowledge available in the literature, such as the Supply Chain Collaboration Index (SCCI). This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from three sugarcane milling areas. The SCCI was contextualised from a psychological perspective and used in the quantitative data analyses. A special objective was to raise a number of pertinent questions, which would fast track stakeholders to a new level of collaboration.

Findings – Many relationships in the supply chain remain relatively positive. The main attributes of concern are stability, reliability, trust, personal relationships and communication. A lack of these attributes causes fragmentation, opportunism and a desire to over-control. Mutuality and communication are key leverages in the system.

Research limitations/implications – There is a need to understand how collaboration could be enhanced when stakeholders hold different balances of power. This study is still limited to sugarcane milling in South Africa.

Practical implications – This paper demonstrates a partially quantitative research methodology to understand collaboration in a food supply chain. The authors also propose a tool to help industry stakeholders to resolve current problems.

Originality/value – The psychological profiling of SCCI attributes and subsequent correspondence analyses is original. A framework of collaboration questions combined with Kepner-Tregoe Problem Analyses is unique. These tools are generic to any agricultural supply chain.

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