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Title: Mapping the beef agri-food supply network from farmer to retailer: a relational perspective
Author: Aisling, Rose Reid
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 7536
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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Originating from occupational experience, this research offers timely and unique insight into the critically important agri-food sector. Within recent years there has been an increased political focus, highlighting the importance of the agri-food supply network. For example, at national level, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, launched a Food 2030 strategy, which focuses on investing in long-term economic growth and sustainable food chain strategies within the sector. At regional level, The Agri-Food Strategy Board, in conjunction with Executive Ministers for The Department for Agriculture and Rural Development and The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, developed the ‘Going for Growth’ report in May 2012. Further to this, there is increased recognition for further research in the agri-food sector, which is evident by an investment of twenty-three million by the Technology Strategy Board specifically targeting the agri-food industry. Despite the importance of the agri-food sector, the beef supply network in particular has faced multiple challenges in recent years. Factors such as the horsemeat scandal, changing consumer behaviour, increased pressure for provenance of product and a changing retail landscape have significantly impacted the core players within the red meat industry. The sector reflects a changing consumer mid-set, which demands increased transparency and closer relationships between producer, processor and retailer. This research is in response to the growing need for closer collaboration between the producer, processor and retailer, in order to overcome current challenges in the agri-food supply chain. Theoretically, this research is justified by the call for new methods of adding value in the agri-food sector (Bonney et al., 2007; Hingley and Sodano, 2010). In light of the gap in the literature, the overall aim of this study is to explore and advance understanding of the agri-food supply network, from a relational perspective. Three research objectives formed the focus of this study. Firstly, to apply network pictures as a tool to analyse multiple perspectives of the agri-food supply network. Secondly, to explore the agri-food supply network from a relational perspective and finally development of a framework to optimise agri-food supply network best practice. In order to capture the dynamic nature of the agri-food sector a case study design was adopted, providing in-depth insight into the beef supply network of four leading grocery retailers, in a major region of the UK. The key findings, recommendations and best practice of this study have policy, industry and theoretical implications for future research and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available