Purpose – The objective of this paper is to characterise the transactions between European buyers and Brazilian mango and grape producers. Design/methodology/approach – The method selected for this paper was multiple case studies. The Brazilian mango and grape supply chains' export activities to Europe were investigated. The field research was undertaken in Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK. In total, 41 face‐to‐face interviews were carried out. Findings – The supermarkets' literature tends to generalise the strategies of retailers focusing on differentiation and preferred suppliers. However, in empirical research conducted in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands it is possible to conclude that the procurement strategies of supermarkets can vary sharply. The results reveal the presence of different agents who demand different quality standards. The level of intensity depends on consumer behaviour, the features of product commercialised and the characteristics of the production segment in each country. Research limitations/implications – First, in relation to the empirical method there is a limitation because the case study does not allow statistical generalisation. Consequently, it will be interesting to undertake quantitative research in order to quantify the variables presented and their impact on the structure of value chains. Second, the research focuses only on two stages of the supply chain, producers and buyers. Practical implications – The differences between UK and German supermarkets challenge the supermarket literature, which tends to generalise the strategies of retailers focusing on differentiation and preferred suppliers. Originality/value – The study shows that the issue of influence and activities of retail agents along the value chain can be analysed taking several variables into consideration: the products commercialised; the distribution segment; and the consumer market. This result opens the way for analysing different structures of the value chain and the impact of these differences on the entry of producers for developing countries into the global market.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 21, 2012
Keywords: Buyer‐seller relationships; Case studies; Transactions; Europe; Brazil; Fruits; International marketing; Supply chain management; Value chain; Supermarkets
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