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Biologisk mångfald, ekosystemtjänster och brukare i samverkan för ett rikt odlingslandskap

{Project} Biologisk mångfald, ekosystemtjänster och brukare i samverkan för ett rikt odlingslandskap. [Participatory Supply Chain Management for the Sustainable Development of Local Agrifood Networks.] Runs 2002 - 2004. Project Leader(s): Haden, Andrew and Ahnström, Johan, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU .

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By working in collaboration with two local producer/processor/consumer networks in Sweden (see descriptions below), the goal of this project is to develop a participatory Supply Chain Management (SCM) platform specific to local agri-food networks. In the process, this project seeks to accomplish the following objectives:
a) outline the existing bottlenecks limiting the expansion of local food distribution systems, and articulate systemic, cooperative strategies for 'scaling-up' local food marketing arrangements (building on farmer's market and community supported agriculture models) to reach higher levels of market penetration for local foods.
b) create practical, systematic methods and tools for facilitating the learning of the actors involved to overcome obstacles to the creation and evolution of local food distribution systems with integrated supply chains, based on collaboration with actors in real supply chains.
c) ensure the transferability of successful participatory SCM platform developments to other contexts, through the documentation of group processes, the development of learning modules based on these processes, and the publication in scholarly journals of insights gained.
The networks:
Agrifood Network 1: Järna, Södertjäle Municipality, collaboration with EU INTERREG III B, Baltic Sea Region Project: Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society (BERAS)
The Swedish portion of the BERAS project is based at the Biodynamic Research Institute at Skillebygård, in Södertjäle, Municipality, south of Stockholm. The well-established agrifood network upon which this portion of the project is based consists of: 6 farms producing grain, vegetables, milk, meat and fruit (total area in production 550 ha); 4 processing enterprises including a bakery, dairy, and slaughter house; local on-farm shops, as well as the local KONSUM and ICA shops; and a number large institutional customers including three local schools, a health clinic, and individual households. The project is intended to promote the already established local ecological food initiatives by integrating the local supply chain through an ongoing series of group dialogues that are designed to increase the integration of activities between the actors in the supply chain. The applicant has been hired to work on a 50 % salary as a research assistant with this project, co-ordinating and co-leading the planned group processes during the next 2 years.
Agrifood Network 2: Bonden's Egen Marknad
The work being done by the organizers of Bonden's egen Marknad (a network of farmer's markets in Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, Vaxjö, Linköping, Umeå) holds the potential to become a prototypical example of how a collaborative effort between producers, processors and consumers can lead to a Supply Chain Management (SCM) platform that is participatory, modular, scalable and transferable to multiple contexts. This network is poised to expand on the current producer base that sell through the farmer's markets, and to transform into a distribution network that delivers high-quality, locally grown organic food to a range of individual and institutional customers. This project is explicitly using a SCM approach in its strategy. The SCM platform developed in this project will be designed with a cooperative non-profit ownership structure, so that the environmental benefits that may result from its use will be realized as quickly as possible Currently, a pilot project is slated to begin in early 2004. The pilot distribution network will include 20 producers, 40 retail businesses, 5 farmer's markets and 5 restaurants, with additional planned service to schools and retirement homes. The applicant will work as a facilitator of the implementation of a web-based SCM tool being developed by project partners, and work in collaboration with representatives from each network segment to design learning modules that will form the basis of broader implementation in subsequent years.
The principal problem to be addressed in this research is that the modern Swedish food system is not sustainable. This is largely due to the fact that the supply chains upon which it is based are dis-embedded from local contexts, and require high levels of energy and other resource use throughout the chain: from production, to transport, storage, distribution and consumption. These facts raise questions regarding not only the long-term sustainability of the organizational pattern of the Swedish food system, but call in to question the sustainability of the many modern industrial food systems that share a similar organizational pattern. One major symptom of this problem is that the increasingly extended food supply chains, both in Sweden and throughout Europe, are based on centrally coordinated distribution infrastructures at regional and national scales, and are thus not able to deliver a diverse range of locally grown products to local markets. This movement towards increasingly centralized distribution channels has resulted in a loss of economic opportunities for small and medium-scale producers in conventional as well as organic farming, and amounts to a structural impediment to the development of sustainable local food systems.
The primary premise upon which this research is built is that, if local producers are to establish substantive, long-term access to local markets (beyond weekend farmers markets and vegetable box schemes), then new distribution infrastructures and Supply Chain Management (SCM) platforms will be needed. Because local agrifood networks exist simultaneously in both the economic, social and political spheres of local places, they must be collaboratively managed by farmers, processors/distributors and customers if their long-term success is to be insured. Moreover, a locally oriented infrastructure must function to coordinate production flows within a heterogeneous producer-consumer constellation, that includes a broader spectrum of producers (large/small, single product/diverse production) and consumers (individual households, restaurants, hospitals, schools) than is currently served by conventional channels. If a participatory SCM platform can be developed and shared, then the potential for diverse and inclusive food systems to develop around the nexus of locality will increase.
Expected results
a) Participatory Supply Chain Management platform for Efficient Networking of Local Producer-Distributor-Consumer Constellations. As work progresses towards the objective of developing a participatory SCM platform, the process of uncovering obstacles in the group learning cycles will be incorporated into the SCM platform that will be used to coordinate the food system in question. In network 1, the SCM platform will likely take the form of new and more integrated agreements and operating procedures between actors in the supply chain. In network 2, through information management technology being developed by private sector partners of network, a standardized, internet-based SCM tool will be developed and incorporated into the functioning of the day-to-day activities of network 2.
b) Methodological development of the concept of Participatory Supply Chain Management. The coordination of local food network actors has direct relevance to many countries, thus two papers outlining the knowledge gained during the work of project will be written and submitted to scholarly journals, forming the base of the applicants licentiate thesis. Each paper will focus on different aspects of the knowledge gained.
The project is intended to lead to an expanded application of the model developed in the project, over the course of the project leader’s Ph.D. work. If the first year of the project produces interesting results and a greater understanding of the general bottlenecks confronting local food systems, then future years will focus on gathering empirical support for a general model of local supply chains that can help actors in the field to make decisions that increase the success of local food systems.
Papers to be presented at conferences or in scientific and/or business journals
Paper 1 is to include an overview of the bottlenecks that local food distribution systems must overcome to become more integrated, as well as the successes and setbacks experienced during the collaborative learning processes, and how these processes were overcome.
Paper 2 will present a detailed description of the knowledge and expertise that must be assembled to implement and manage new participatory supply chains in agrifood networks (e.g. IT competence, communication tools, agricultural economics, marketing and branding, logistics planning, etc.), and how this knowledge can be used to create integrated local food supply chains.

EPrint Type:Project description
Location:The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
P.O. Box 7047 
SE-750 07 Uppsala
Keywords:local food distribution, outline bottlenecks, collaboration with actors, participatory research
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) > CUL - Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Research funders: Sweden > Ekhaga Foundation
Start Date:1 November 2002
End Date:31 November 2004
Deposited By: Karlsson, Miriam Frida
ID Code:8113
Deposited On:11 Nov 2007
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:31

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