Purpose – The purpose of this article is to discuss the results from a UK government‐funded applied research programme on value chain analysis that examined the beef foodservice sector. The demands and dynamics of this sector differ markedly from those of the supermarket, which is the dominant channel for beef produce and which forms the focus of the existing literature. This is a challenging environment for the application of collaborative supply chain improvement principles because of its high level of regulatory control, power relationships and low profit margins. Design/methodology/approach – This is an applied research project that was case study based and employed the value chain analysis method. Empirical work was conducted over an 11‐month period and included a one‐week whole‐team study tour to Argentina. Informants encompassed UK and Argentine livestock producers, an Argentine meat processor, a UK meat import operation, a UK meat processor, a UK foodservice distribution centre and two foodservice restaurants. Findings – The paper concentrates on the key findings pertinent to the upstream members of the above chain. It highlights specific supply chain waste elimination opportunities at both producer and processor level. It also establishes valuable learning points for the UK beef industry as a whole. Originality/value – This study represents the first holistic and non‐partisan study of its type within the UK beef industry. This paper adds to the limited body of knowledge on supply chain management within the foodservice sector. It also provides the first explanation and analysis of its kind on supply chain operations within the Argentine beef industry. It quantifies the magnitude and nature of the cost advantage afforded the Argentine producer over its best practice counterpart. Finally, it presents a number of reflections upon the implications of this study for the concept of best practice and also the Lean paradigm.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 25, 2008
Keywords: Value chain; United Kingdom; Argentina; Meat; Food service; Supply chain management
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