Private sector's response to emerging challenges in the supply of high value agricultural products: Implications for the involvement of Oxfam GB

Morales Dada, Maria Fernanda (2008) Private sector's response to emerging challenges in the supply of high value agricultural products: Implications for the involvement of Oxfam GB. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Given the impacts that changes in the private sector could have on millions of livelihoods, the purpose of this research is to explore how supply chains for high value agricultural products (HVAP) are being impacted by climate change, food prices and energy costs. The research aims to assess changes in supply chain operations in terms of the impact they could have development. The results are intended to assist Oxfam GB in better understanding the context and informing recommendations on how to influence the private sector to maximise their contributions to poverty alleviation.

The findings suggest that climate change, food prices and energy costs have not had a major impact on the availability of supplies for the companies interviewed. However, high oil prices seem to have a direct and immediate effect on companies' operations, which together with food price increases appear to be affecting companies' bottom line. On the side of climate change, results indicate that this is not perceived by companies as a short term threat for the supply of HVAP.

To protect from emerging challenges, participating companies are implementing different changes. Seven categories of initiatives were identified: (1) distribution of higher costs, (2) cost cutting activities, (3) diversification of supply base, (4) local sourcing initiatives, (5) relations with suppliers, (6) climate change adaptation, and (7) investment in technology and innovation.

The third and last group of findings shows the motivations that drive companies to make changes in their operations are dominated by cost reduction and competitiveness concerns, with some companies claiming to be moved by consumer's demands and less incidence of ethical considerations.

The analysis illustrates the private sector's potential to create very distinct outcomes for smallholders, SMEs and development. The combination of responsible businesses, ethical consumers, proactive smallholders and SMEs, and supportive governments and civil society, may create synergies that benefit all of the parts involved by encouraging sustainable business models in the private sector.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Oxfam, CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, climate change, food prices, oil prices, HVAP, high value agricultural products
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 02:23

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