Rethink vegetable supply chains as networks not markets

Rethink vegetable supply chains as networks not markets

A Food Research Collaboration Policy Insight

Jan Moorhouse

The review of the National Food Strategy and the forthcoming White Paper provide policy-makers with an opportunity to revisit how to think about supply chains. The thinking behind traditional market-oriented initiatives is based on an assumption that markets are natural, inescapable and inevitable. In this Policy Insight, Dr Jan Moorhouse examines how vegetable supply chains could be considered as networks, rather than markets. Networks reflect how interactions actually take place between interdependent organisations: relations within networks are interactive, planned, entangled, and involve state, community and commercial actors building trust and commitment over time. Network thinking could give communities a more active role in supply chain governance, provide growers with alternatives to the supermarket supply chains, and help policy-makers adopt a ‘macro-marketing’ perspective on consumption patterns.

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