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Sustainable production and the performance of South African entrepreneurs in a global supply chain. The case of South African table grape producers


Author Info

  • Peter J. Ras

    (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)

  • Walter J. V. Vermeulen

    (Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

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    Global trade is strongly growing and becoming connected to the issue of sustainable development in business practices. In recent years this has resulted in businesses on the demand side formulating sets of requirements for suppliers on their performance on corporate social responsibility and sustainable production. In doing this, value systems of the industrialized world are forwarded towards developing countries. It is seen as a way to complement poor sustainability policies on practices in these countries. This relatively new phenomenon of promoting sustainable development through market interactions is quite remarkable. Why would economic actors take up such public interests (abating environmental degradation and social injustice)? From the perspective of developing countries on the supply side of global value chains, being able to commit to such business-to-business standards requires developing world producers to possess certain qualities and capacities. This article reflects on this issue, identifying essential capacities, drawn from literature on (sustainable) entrepreneurship. It develops a model explaining business performance with characteristics of entrepreneurship. The model is tested in practice using data on exporters of table grapes in South Africa. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 325-340

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:17:y:2009:i:5:p:325-340

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    1. Martin Hess & Neil M Coe, 2006. "Making connections: global production networks, standards, and embeddedness in the mobile-telecommunications industry," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(7), pages 1205-1227, July.
    2. Hamid Etemad, 2004. "International Entrepreneurship as a Dynamic Adaptive System: Towards a Grounded Theory," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(1_2), pages 5-59, 03.
    3. Catherine Dolan & John Humphrey, 2004. "Changing governance patterns in the trade in fresh vegetables between Africa and the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(3), pages 491-509, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. ACHABOU Akli & DEKHILI Sihem & HAMDOUN Mohamed, 2014. "L’intégration des entreprises des pays en développement dans les CGV permet-elle l’apprentissage environnemental ? Une application aux entreprises oléicoles tunisiennes," Working Papers, Department of Research, Ipag Business School 2014-496, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    2. Hall, Jeremy K. & Daneke, Gregory A. & Lenox, Michael J., 2010. "Sustainable development and entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future directions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 439-448, September.


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