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Performance imbalances in the chain: EU traditional food sector
Published September 30, 2009

Organizations nowadays no longer competeas independent entities, but as chains(Christopher, 1998; Cox, 1999; Lambertand Cooper, 2000). Hence, being part of a well-performing chain is crucial for the future of the individual food firm, especially in the context of the globalizing economy. As a result, the objective of this study is to identify p...erformance imbalances of traditional food chains.Therefore, quantitative data were collected via individual interviews with 271 chain member (91 suppliers, 91 focal companies and 89 customers) of 91 traditional food chains from three European countries(Belgium, Italy and Hungary), representing six different traditional food product categories (cheese, beer, ham, sausage, white pepper and bakery). The results differentiate six different kinds of chain imbalances, namely: dyadic upper and lower, up-and down stream, internal and external indicate both dyadic and chain-wise imbalance. Most chain imbalances are noticed in relation to lowering logistic costs and to reducing lead time. Future research should extend the list of performance indicators with parameters other than economical ones such as ecological and social ones.

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Effect of uncertainty on farmers decision making: Case of animal manure use
Published December 30, 2009

Due to the high levels of manure application and the poor use efficiency of manure, the European agriculture is held responsible for a considerable negative impact on surface water quality (Langeveld et al., 2007). This problem has emerged particularly in Western-European countries such as the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark, facing a ...large expansion and intensification process in the livestock production since the 1960s (Van der Straeten et al., 2008). Policy measures related to the application of manure on the land encompass two major measures: emission rights, understood as the amount of nutrients which can be applied on the land, differentiated by crop and the N spreading calendars, whereby the manure can only be applied when the crop needs nutrients. The fundamental aim of this pillar is to maximising application rate while avoiding overfertilisation. Maximizing the application rate is related to the economic sustainability of the agricultural sector, by altering the manure surplus, while avoiding overfertilisation is imperative in enhancing ecological sustainability, by preventing nitrate leaching to surface and soil waters. For nitrate policy to meet its target, the farmers should not exceed their emission rights, however make optimal use of their emission right for manure. Consequently, the successful implementation of sink-related measures will strongly depend of the absorptive capacity of farmers towards new ways of nutrient management in general and of animal manures in particular.

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