The following extract is taken from an essay produced on the topic of Supply Chain
As Mikkelsen (1993) Conklin and Thompson (1993) argue the shift towards manufacturing organic products has seen a steep rise in the food industry1. The rising health concerns and the consumers’ greater awareness and engagement with their lifestyle, meant the rise of the organic products’ variety and consumption. In a study by McEachern and Willock (2004), over the purchase of organic meet by English consumers, it was found that despite the cost, perceptions over the higher quality of standard continue to influence consumers’ buying behaviour in favour of organic meat. Cummings (2008) also reports how “Even in a down economy, green consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for organic, natural or environmentally-friendly products, per a study released last week by the Natural Marketing Institute and The Nielsen Co.” (p.6)
One of the key features of this market is the projected relationship between the producers’ lack of involvement in assisting the growth or fruitfulness of the products they cultivate (Byng, 1993). Intervention through artificial ingredients and preservatives might help assist the products’ growth, but at the same time it can affect the quality and healthy related ingredients associated with that product (Silverstone, 1993). One of the key challenges faced by organic farmers is in investing on resources and people that vary from the more conventional methods of production (Nieberg, et. al. 1996; Offmann and Nieberg, 2000). Acquiring the knowledge and technology in order to change methods of farming is argued to remain a real challenge for businesses (Padel, 2001). This is because farmers/producers lack the necessary skills and knowledge to make that transition.
1Hutchins and Greenhalgh, (1997) argue that “in a market worth between £100m and £200m per annum, it is surprising to see that so little is known about consumers’ perceptions of organic food” (p.337).