Collaborative Supply Chain Initiatives as Devices to Cope with Income Variability in the Scottish Red Meat Sector
The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether collaborative supply chain initiatives may help to provide income stability for farmers, focussing the analysis on the red meat supply chain in Scotland. Collaborative supply chains may contribute with two elements to attain higher income stability: first, greater demand stability and market access, and second, less variability in the price received for carcasses, as the produced output fits better the required specifications (i.e., no lost premia). The analysis of a survey applied to Scottish red meat producers showed that farmers that are part of a producers’ club do not differ from other farmers in their perception of marketing problems (e.g., price stability, etc.). However, in terms of their marketing aims, at least for beef producers, they seem to be more satisfied than farmers selling through auctions. An in-depth case study of a producers’ club in Scotland showed that farmers within the club are heterogeneous, not all of them taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the club in terms of improving the quality of their output and targeting better the required specifications, which creates potential to attain more stable income.
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