A System Approach on Organizational Innovations in the Agro-Food Sector: The Case of AFSCs in Flanders

Valerie Vandermeulen, Anne Vuylsteke, Guido van Huylenbroeck


Together with the evolution from the agro-industrial model to the sustainable rural development model (Roep and Wiskerke 2004), a part of the agro-food market has evolved from an anonymous, mass food market to a quality-food market. This shift is driven by factors, such as the changing relations between supply chain actors due to concentration in retail and processing, the growing importance of quality standards, considerable changes in consumer habits and preferences, the increasing attention for the multifunctional dimensions of agriculture and the establishment of new markets for public goods and services (Kirwan, Slee et al. 2003; Jahn, Zerger et al. 2007). As a consequence, the contemporary agro-food markets are more and more characterised by coordination between the actors in food supply chains. Collective action is not only adopted to improve supply chain logistics, but can also be used as a strategic instrument to realise market differentiation, to increase market share, or to obtain niche protection (Hobbs, Fearne et al. 2002; Vuylsteke, Collet et al. 2003; Ménard and Klein 2004). Moreover, new forms of dynamism and innovative forms of cooperation, such as alternative food supply chains, are emerging (Marsden, Banks et al. 2000)....

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18461/pfsd.2011.1117

ISSN 2194-511X


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