Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable supply chain governance systems: conditions for effective market based governance in global trade

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In this article I discuss the conceptualisation and existing empirical research on the creation of sustainable global product chains. This papers sets steps in moving from normative prescriptive approaches towards an empirical descriptive approach, comparing available research in various forms of global markets and types of commodities and lifting the analysis to the level of 'product channels' (the collective level) instead of 'product chains' of collaborating individual businesses. It explores various strategies employed by businesses in international collaboration in product improvement and competitive mechanisms that may support the change towards more sustainable products sourced from developing countries. Recent research in the Dutch-South African value chain of fruits and wine are used as examples to illustrate the virtue of this three level approach. For a full understanding of dynamics in achieving sustainability in global value chains a multi-level theoretical approach is required combining empirical studies at firm level, at global value chain system level and at the level of global dynamics.

Keywords: supply chain management, SCM, sustainability, supply chain governance, developing countries, certification, value chain, CSR, corporate social responsibility, global trade, industrial ecology, sustainable supply chains, international collaboration, product improvement, competition, The Netherlands, South Africa, fruit, wine

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