Strategic information flows within an Australian vegetable value chain

J. Teese, P. Currey, S. Somogyi
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 firms’ strategy, culture, structure and the external environment. Strategic information sharing between firms isn’t 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 doesn’t extend beyond a firm’s 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.
Teese, J., Currey, P. and Somogyi, S. (2019). Strategic information flows within an Australian vegetable value chain. Acta Hortic. 1258, 189-194
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1258.26
information sharing, trust, commitment, coordination, culture, relationships

Acta Horticulturae