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Supply chain management in the lamb industry: An analysis of opportunities and limitations


  • Johnson, Sue


Record prices during mid-2004, tipping 530 c/kg (MLA 2004b) have lead to increased interest in the production of lamb. Overall sheep numbers have fallen by 30% in the last decade, while prime lamb production is increasing. With the consumer-dominating product selection there has been a changing role of the producer and a shift in power to retailers. In Australia the major supermarket chains – i.e. Coles, Woolworths and their subsidiaries - had 40% of the retail grocery market in 1970 (AFFA and ABARE 2000). By 2000-01 this figure had moved to 63% (ABARE 2002). Internationally Wal-Mart and Carrefour operate in more than 30 countries, with sales of 273,335 million Euro (A$488,098 million) in 2000/01. This compares with Woolworths, Coles and BiLo with sales of just 16,968 million Euro (A$ 30,300 million) (AFFA 2002). This domination by supermarkets in Australia and internationally has encouraged the development of co-ordination of the supply chain. Co-ordination within a supply chain implies that common objectives in product and material are necessary to achieve customer satisfaction. To achieve this requires crossing both organisational and functional boundaries. For the prime lamb industry the management of this co-ordination brings with it both opportunities and limitations. An investigation of three (3) lamb alliances found that education, business skills and quality assurance were all opportunites gained, while loss of producer identity/ power, contracts and maintenance of relationships where perceived limitations. However overall, the producers in the alliances studied couldn’t comprehend why more producers did not take up the challenge of understanding their product, buyers and consumers better and participate in supply chain management (Johnson 2002).

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Sue, 2005. "Supply chain management in the lamb industry: An analysis of opportunities and limitations," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afbmau:123163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricks, Donald J. & Woods, Timothy A. & Sterns, James A., 1999. "Improving Vertical Coordination Of Agricultural Industries Through Supply Chain Management," Staff Papers 11513, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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