Graduate Research Candidate
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Value chain analysis (VCA) is recognised as a valuable tool for identifying efficiency gains, or improvement projects, within complex, elongated, often international, agri-food supply chains. The aim of this research is to determine if this methodology can usefully improve the economic competitiveness of what in Europe, are referred to as alternative agri-food networks, that is, groupings of rural actors who turn to quality, and territorialised farm centric value adding strategies. Literature is put forward to support an a priori position that alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs) promote unique and positive environmental and social outcomes, worthy of further development. The suitability of VCA to this development task will be determined through a cost/benefit analysis of potential economic yields arising from the application of VCA to three Tasmanian AAFNs from the flagging vegetable sector. The opportunity cost of applying VCA to AAFNs, as opposed to conventional agri-food supply chains, will be considered, as will the implications of VCA upon the assumed positive attributes of AAFNs.
Value chain analysis, alternative agri-food networks, endogenous rural development, food system logistics, cost benefit analysis, business innovation, network theory.
Authorised by the Head of School, Management
15 October, 2012