Inderscience Publishers

Greening global product chains: bridging barriers in the north-south cooperation. An exploratory study of possibilities for improvement in the product chains of table grape and wine connecting South Africa and The Netherlands

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Few case studies of business-to-business cooperation in the greening of global product chains are available. Problems with market communication, power, information availability, anonymous markets and information costs prevent communication between producers and end-users in the North and supplying firms in developing countries. This article reports our study on product chains of fruits and wine connecting South Africa with the Netherlands. Activities exist in both countries for improving environmental performance without the knowledge of business partners at the other side of the product chain. Thus, opportunities for systematic worldwide greening of these product chains are being missed. Taking one exemplary case of greening product chains in the field of organic fruit, we examined trade partners' willingness to cooperate in greening their product chains and possible solutions to barriers for supplier?retailer?end-user cooperation in the case of wine and grapes.

Keywords: global trade, sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, supply chain management, CSR, SCM, industrial ecology, globalisation, global product chains, table grapes, table wine, South Africa, The Netherlands, greening, green supply chains, environmental supply chains, organic fruit, North-South cooperation

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