The role of the Regional Cooperative Westerkwartier as a food chain agent in the regional food chain

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Abstract

Recent challenges such like climate, demographic, political, economy and market changes are the foundation for the establishment of the Regional Cooperative Westerkwartier (RCW) in the Northern Netherlands. This RCW is managing a vast range of regional programs and projects developed by multi-stakeholder groups within the region. These stakeholders are representatives of market, public administration, education, research and civil society. All the activities of the cooperative focus on strengthening the regional economy. One of the major programs is the development of a regional food chain (RFC) based on cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises and corporate purchasers. The cooperative is identifying its role within this RFC to develop this chain in an effective way. This article reflects the results of a literature study in the fields of green supply chain management and industrial symbiosis to understand the most important factors of chain development and enterprise symbiosis. Based on these results multiple in-depth interviews and a survey have been conducted. This results in a list of factors, ranked according to their importance for small and medium-sized enterprises. In the role of a RFC-agent the cooperative should focus on creating trust, achieving one overall goal and ensuring clear agreements within the RFC. Surprisingly, the factor “achieving a fair distribution of costs and benefits” throughout the chain is not as important as was expected to be. Based on these ranked factors the role of the RFC-agent has been clarified and an additional circular chain business model can be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 10
JournalArchives of applied science research
Volume9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • cooperative models
  • circular economy
  • regional food chain
  • smes
  • industrial symbiosis
  • new governance
  • business models

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