Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Sustainability performance of soybean and beef chains in Latin America
Pashaei Kamali, F. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Alfons Oude Lansink; Imke de Boer, co-promotor(en): Miranda Meuwissen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576087 - 219
bedrijfseconomie - rundvleesproductie - sojabonen - economische productie - agro-industriële ketens - veehouderijbedrijven - economie van de veehouderij - brazilië - latijns-amerika - business economics - beef production - soyabeans - economic production - agro-industrial chains - livestock enterprises - livestock economics - brazil - latin america

Sustainability Performance of Soybean and Beef Chains in Latin America

The objective of this thesis, was to analyze the sustainability performance of soybean and beef production chains in Latin America (LA). First identifying a set of sustainability issues of soybean and beef production chains in a LA-EU context was carried out. Sustainability issues were found to vary across stakeholders’ interests. Next, the environmental and economic performance of four feeding strategies for beef production in southern Brazil were evaluated. Results showed that improved pasture is a promising system as it results in the best environmental and economic performance. Furthermore, the environmental, economic, and social performance of genetically modified (GM), non-genetically modified (non-GM), and organic soybean production was evaluated by capturing the uncertainty of key parameters. Results revealed that none of these systems performed best for all sustainability issues evaluated. Multi-criteria assessment (MCA) has the capability of giving a single overall score per system by aggregating sustainability scores using relative importance weights provided by stakeholders. The results showed that there is potential to use expert elicitation as an alternative to extensive data rich methods. The simulation results showed a higher variation for the organic soybean production system compared to GM and non-GM.

Expert judgement garnalenvisserij
Jongbloed, R.H. ; Steenbergen, J. ; Kooten, T. van; Turenhout, M.N.J. ; Taal, C. - \ 2015
Den Helder : IMARES (Rapport / IMARES Wageningen UR C177/14) - 82
visserij - visserij-ecologie - garnalen - waddenzee - economische productie - overheidsbeleid - fisheries - fisheries ecology - shrimps - wadden sea - economic production - government policy
Het Waddenfonds wil inzicht in de effectiviteit van de voorgestelde maatregelen uit het convenant en de natuurambitie met betrekking tot de garnalenvisserij in de Waddenzee. Hiertoe is aan IMARES gevraagd de op dit moment ‘best professional judgement’ te geven ten aanzien van een aantal onderdelen gerelateerd aan de garnalenvisserij in de Nederlandse Waddenzee. De onderzoeksvragen zijn: 1) Is het sluiten van gebieden voor garnalenvisserij een effectieve manier om de ecologische kwaliteiten van de Waddenzee te versterken? 2) Zou verandering van de manier waarop garnalen worden gevist een bijdrage kunnen leveren aan de verrijking van de ecologische kwaliteit van de Waddenzee? 3) Zou verandering in de (garnalen)visserij de economische kwaliteit van de visserij kunnen versterken?
Concurrentiekracht van de Nederlandse eiersector
Horne, P.L.M. van - \ 2012
Den Haag : LEI, onderdeel van Wageningen UR (LEI-rapport : Onderzoeksveld Markt & ketens ) - ISBN 9789086155996 - 74
dierlijke producten - eieren - pluimvee - markten - statistiek - prijzen - economische productie - productiekosten - marktconcurrentie - animal products - eggs - poultry - markets - statistics - prices - economic production - production costs - market competition
Het LEI heeft op verzoek van het ministerie van Economische Zaken (EZ) en het Productschap Pluimvee en Eieren (PPE) een onderzoek uitgevoerd naar de concurrentiekracht van de Nederlandse eiersector. Centrale vraag daarbij is of de Nederlandse eierketen concurrerend is. Belangrijk onderdeel van de studie is een vergelijking van de huidige en toekomstige positie van de Nederlandse eierketen ten opzichte van de belangrijkste concurrerende productielanden. In deze studie zijn de productiekosten van eieren in Nederland vergeleken met de productiekosten in het belangrijke afzetgebied Duitsland en met die van enkele concurrerende landen in Noordwest Europa. Ook is een vergelijking gemaakt van productiekosten van eieren met enkele landen buiten Europa.
Stichtingskosten aanplant Conference verlaagd
Roelofs, P.F.M.M. ; Heijerman-Peppelman, G. - \ 2012
De Fruitteelt 102 (2012)14. - ISSN 0016-2302 - p. 10 - 11.
fruitteelt - peren - economische productie - productiefactoren - normen - teelt - specifieke kosten - fruit growing - pears - economic production - factors of production - standards - cultivation - specific costs
Door verbeterde teeltmethoden en intensievere aanplanten zijn in de Kwantitatieve Fruitteelt (KWIN) de taakstellende normproducties voor de eerste jaren van Conference in standaard aanplant en V-haag verhoogd. Hierdoor zijn de stichtingskosten voor deze aanplanten verlaagd naar respectievelijk €47.000 en €71.750 per hectare.
De Nederlandse agrosector
Pronk, A. ; Bolhuis, J. ; Dagevos, H. ; Jukema, G.D. ; Leeuwen, M.G.A. van; Pierick, E. ten - \ 2010
In: Landbouw-Economisch Bericht 2010 / Berkhout, P., van Bruchem, C., Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI Rapport / Onderzoeksveld Internationaal Beleid 2010-013) - p. 65 - 92.
agro-industriële sector - agrarische handel - supermarkten - economische analyse - economische ontwikkeling - prijzen - voedselindustrie - economische productie - ketenmanagement - agroindustrial sector - agricultural trade - supermarkets - economic analysis - economic development - prices - food industry - economic production - supply chain management
Beschrijving van de ontwikkelingen in de Nederlandse agrosector.
Estimating Feedback Effect in Technical Change: A Frontier Approach
Otto, V.M. ; Kuosmanen, T.K. ; Ierland, E.C. van - \ 2006
Milano : Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Note di lavoro della Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei = Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Working Paper Series 27.2006) - 25
economische groei - technische vooruitgang - technologie - ontwikkeling - octrooien - innovaties - productiekosten - productie-economie - economische productie - economic growth - technical progress - technology - development - patents - innovations - production costs - production economics - economic production
This study examines whether today¿s technical change depends on yesterday¿s technical change. We propose to investigate this feedback effect by using the technical-change component of the Malmquist productivity index. This approach can overcome some problems in alternative patent-citation approaches. We apply the approach by estimating the feedback effect from production data of 25 OECD countries for 1980 through 1997. Our model yields evidence on a positive feedback effect with delays up till eight years. These findings are in line with patent-citation studies and bring us closer to a measure of the social returns to R&D
Het concept Interactieve Strategische Planning
LEI, - \ 2005
Den Haag : LEI - 9
samenleving - milieu - bewustzijn (consciousness) - economische ontwikkeling - landbouw en milieu - economische productie - society - environment - consciousness - economic development - agriculture and environment - economic production
De omgeving waarin agrarisch ondernemers moeten opereren verandert. Maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen is daarin het kernbegrip. Maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen betekent dat agrarisch ondernemers zich rekenschap geven van de effecten die hun wijze van produceren heeft op het milieu, het dierenwelzijn, de kwaliteit van het eindproduct en de kwaliteit van het landelijk gebied. Zij leggen dus een verantwoording af over hun productiewijze. Maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen vraagt een pro-actieve houding van ondernemers, een op gezonde economische principes gebaseerde bedrijfsstrategie waarbij ondernemers creatief inspelen op maatschappelijke wensen, en een eigen bijdrage leveren aan de oplossing van complexe maatschappelijke problemen
Bodemleven: hype of handvat?
Visser, M. de; Hanegraaf, M. - \ 2003
Praktijkkompas. Rundvee 17 (2003)4. - ISSN 1570-8586 - p. 10 - 11.
bodembeheer - gewasproductie - teelt - bodemstructuur - organische stof - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - zandgronden - graslanden - maïskuilvoer - bodemkwaliteit - bemesting - economische productie - soil management - crop production - cultivation - soil structure - organic matter - sustainability - sandy soils - grasslands - maize silage - soil quality - fertilizer application - economic production
Melkveehouders hebben meer vee onder de grond dan erboven is een opmerking die we steeds vaker horen. Men doelt dan niet op een mollenplaag! Zowel onder als boven de grond leeft het vee van ruwvoer. Stellen ze onder de grond wat minder eisen aan de voederwaarde? Misschien moeten we zeggen dat de bodem de pens van de planten is. Wat een mooie gedachten, maar wat kan ik met het bodemleven?, zo vraagt menig melkveehouder zich af. In dit artikel de aanpak vanuit het praktijkonderzoek.
Production costs of pike-perch fingerlings (Sander lucioperca): a bio-economic model
Kamstra, A. - \ 2003
IJmuiden : RIVO (RIVO report nr. C056/03) - 17
visteelt - snoekbaars - economische analyse - economische haalbaarheid - economische productie - fish culture - pike perch - economic analysis - economic viability - economic production
A major object of the project ‘Lucioperca’ is to estimate economic feasibility of intensive production of pike-perch. An important part of this activity is the reproduction of brood stock and production of fingerling fish for further on-growing. This report describes the specific costs involved in production of fingerlings and is used as subsequent input in the assessment of overall economic feasibility. The production costs for fingerlings are calculated using an Excel-spreadsheet model containing five different linked sheets. Individual sheet are used for input on feeding and growth, investments, production costs and pricing. In the base-case situation, yearly production is 100.000 fingerlings of 10 gram a piece. By shifting the spawning season, two batches of eggs can be obtained a year which increases efficiency. Under these assumptions the costs of producing a fingerling amount to 40 eurocents a piece. Major cost items are labour (26%) and capital costs (38%). Considering the potential market prices for large fingerlings for on-growing or restocking, fingerling production could be interesting.
Dag/nacht-schema's bij vleeskuikens en een extra donkerperiode in de dag
Wiers, W.J.W. ; Harn, J. van; Middelkoop, J.H. van - \ 2000
Praktijkonderzoek voor de Pluimveehouderij 11 (2000)1. - ISSN 0924-9087 - p. 43 - 46.
pluimvee - pluimveevlees - slachtdieren - lichtregiem - pluimveehokken - groei - dierlijke productie - economische productie - poultry - poultry meat - meat animals - light regime - poultry housing - growth - animal production - economic production
Het Praktijkonderzoek Pluimveehouderij 'Het Spelderholt' (PP) heeft het afgelopen jaar veel onderzoek verricht naar de effecten van dag/nachtschema-s (D/N-schema-s) op de resultaten van vleeskuikens.
Circuits in de landbouwvoedselketen : verscheidenheid en samenhang in de productie en vermarkting van rundvlees in Midden-Italië
Meulen, H.S. van der - \ 2000
Agricultural University. Promotor(en): Jandouwe van der Ploeg. - Wageningen : Wageningen Universiteit, Circle for European Studies - ISBN 9789058083043 - 321
rundvlees - vleesproductie - marketing - italië - economische productie - authenticiteit - beef - meat production - italy - economic production - authenticity

This PhD-thesis describes the diversity and coherence in the beef chain of the Central-Italian region of Umbria as co-existing circuits of interlinked cattle farmers, butchers and consumers. A circuit represents a specific and stereotypical way in which the production annex marketing of a agri-food product is organised. The main hypothesis is that within a geographically delimitated chain of an agri-food product usually a limited number of clearly different vertical segments - circuits - can be distinguished. A second assumption is that successive actors in the chain have a shared conception of the right quality of the product, and that this shared conception is essential to their commercial connectedness.

The circuits approach developed in this book elaborates on the styles of farming research of the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University. Thereby, the application of its basic notions of style and diversity shifts from the level of primary production to that of the entire chain. In the same line, the circuit approach tries to integrate basic notions from the Frech-Italian filière research tradition, in which emphasis is placed on meso-economic systemic coherences and the regional development context, into the micro-economic and casuistic Anglo-Saxon approach which presently dominates the debate.

The research method is essentially descriptive in nature: the focus is on the existing diversity of stereotypical modes of vertical organisation within the commodity system of a specific agro-food product. Diversity is seen as a positive phenomenon and not as a number of deviations form an alledged technical-economic optimum. The function of describing diversity is first of all that of an eye-opener. In the circuit approach, implicitely, particular attention is paid to the 'hidden' circuits, either traditional or recent ones, because they may bear or inspire solutions for actual problems.This implies a critical attitude towards the main stream of the product in question, which in fact may be composed of different circuits itself.

Practical results

On the basis of extensive interviews and surveys in the Umbrian beef chain the following circuits have been identified.

In the direct circuit small-scale farmers, and the so-called arrangioni in particular, sell large packages of beef directly to consumers: neighbours, friends, and other interested families. The consumers attach much importance to the fact that they know exactly where their beef comes from (traceability), and that they can eventually check personally how it is produced (inspectability). The small scale of production (about 10 bulls per year), the use of traditional fodder like alfalfa, barley, and corn, and the fact that farm family itself consumes the same beef are important quality parameters to the consumers.The artisanal circuit is organised around the so-called traditional butchers who buy beef cattle from small-scale breeders of the indigenous Chianina cattle. The desired genuinità (purity, authenticity) of this carne nostrale (beef from own area) is determined by the relatively small scale of production (about 30 bulls per year), the use of traditional forragi aziendali (farm made fodder), and the highly appreciated Chianina breed. At the level of the butcher's shop a good frollatura (hanging and ripening) is considered essential to obtain the full taste from the primary matter and to render it more tender. The consumers of the artisanal circuit are mainly countrymen and elderly people. Butchers describe them as intenditori (connoisseurs). They know, for instance, the positive relationship between fat and taste. They also "still know how to make a good stew".In the scientized circuit so called modern butchers play a central role. They order their slaughter cattle from regional ingrassatori : holders of large-scale feedlots. The 'scientific' character of the circuit is high-lighted by the meticulous calculation of the feed rations in the feedlots and the analysis of the beef samples on toxic residuals after slaughtering. Butchers say their clients - mainly young and high-income people - "eat with the lips", i.e. they prefer very tender and juicy beef. These characteristics are obtained, amongst others, through intramuscular fat infiltration during the last weeks of the fattening period. Further, modern butchers make a good profit on their piatti pronti (ready-made dishes), which allow them to add value to the tougher cuts that would else remain in the counter. The consumers in the scientized circuit attach importance to quality hallmarks like " Carni Umbri di Qualità ", to which most modern butchers adhere.The anonymous circuit pivots around the so-called import butchers. They order their beef, sometimes already sectioned and vacuumed, from wholesale dealers. The wholesalers obtain the beef from large-scale feedlots or through slaughterhouses in Northern Italy and abroad. Butchers in the anonymous circuit are ignorant of the exact origin. They say consumers tend to "eat with the eyes", since they prefer light coloured beef with no visible fat (which they assume to be tender). The low price of the meat and its convenience (in sectioning and cooking) are important criteria to both the consumers and the butchers.The integrated circuit is organised by the meat divisions of some supermarket chains, in this research represented by Coop Italia. Coop Italia's central meat division enters contracts with a number of large-scale feedlots and slaughterhouses in Italy and abroad. Within this 'integration' all stages of production, processing and distribution are precisely prescribed and controlled by the retailer. It establishes the prices in the counters of its stores and promotes the beef hallmark " carne con amore ". The clients of the Coop Italia supermarkets are one-stop shoppers who care for quickness and convenience. Compared to other categories of consumers, they are not very worried about the genuineness of the beef.

The direct circuit covers an estimated 4% of the fresh beef market of Umbria, and it is growing. The artisanal circuit has a market share of about 20%, the scientized circuit 15%, and the anonymous circuit 10%. De butchers who could not be classified in one of the three "butcher styles" (traditional, modern or import) account for 35% of the market. The supermarkets hold 15% of the fresh beef market, of which the integrated circuit has an estimated 3%. This was the situation in 1992. Up till now the share of supermarkets will have increased to about 25%.

The practical value of the circuits approach for matters of common or public interest has been demonstrated by means of a scenario-study. The effects of a substantial extension of the artisanal circuit have been compared to those of an equal extension of the scientized circuit, substituting the actual 4.2 million kg of beef imports. These two major circuits in the Umbrian beef chain are both characterised by region-based primary production. In the first case, called the Chianina scenario, 1,200 additional jobs and 2.0 million Euro of Net Value Added would be generated, against 100 jobs and a negative income of 0.63 million Euro in the feedlot scenario. In the Chianina scenario another 3.4 million Euro of EU-premiums for suckling cows and fatting bulls can be added to the region's economic balance (1992 prices). With higher beef prices and premiums (1994 situation) the Chianina scenario yields 4.4 million Euro of Net Value Added, plus 4.3 million of premiums, against 0.59 million in the feedlot scenario.

Economic and social side effects of the scenarios have not been quantified, but there is little doubt about the superior performance of the Chianina scenario with respect to environmental pressure, preservation of the landscape and the image of Umbria as a quality food producer. These external economies can hardly be overestimated, since tourism is becoming the major employer in the region.

Two important conditions to the safeguarding and extension of the artisanal circuit are, first, granting the farmers their traditional access to mountain pastures that now risk to become enclosed in nature reserves and thus subject to degradation, and second, the maintenance of a sufficient number of local slaughterhouses. It was on the basis of the results of this research, amongst other pressures, that in 1994 the regional administration decided to postpone the planned 'rationalisation' of small-scale slaughter plants.

Theoretic results

Each of the above circuits represents a number of similarly organized commercial networks, called chain networks , in the Umbrian beef commodity system. A chain network is supposed to be organised around one central actor, the centre of command or principle agent , usually the retailer, and includes all primary actors (defined as those who hold title at some moment in the chain) involved. The coherence of a chain network is determined by the mutual agreement among the vertically linked actors about the definition of quality, operationalised here as the relative importance attached to criteria like taste, tenderness, colour, genuineness, production method, breed, convenience, and price. Chain networks of the same type, i.e. belonging of the same circuit, share the same quality definition and organisational logic.

It is argued that the involvement of primary actors with an agri-food product, such as beef, will tendentially decrease going downstream, from producer to consumer. For a breeders his cattle may be the only source of income, but for a butcher it is one of at least five different types of meat he offers, whereas for a household beef will constitutes one of the hundred food items that it buys during a week. This phenomenon is coined here as the law of diminishing involvement in the chain. The unequal involvement and unequal dependence between the actors of different stages in the chain corresponds an assymetric knowledge of the production process and assymetric influence on the actual 'construction' of quality. The actors with the biggest interests will try to promote their own product, transferring part of their knowledge, whereas the less interested actors (consumers) tend to 'follow' the supply (linking themselves to specific selling points rather than specific versions of the beef). Opposite to the law of diminishing involvement stands the downstream imperative , which says that every buyer holds a dominant position vis-à-vis his supplier(s). I argue that in a stable chain network both effects are more or less balanced. The balance is found when all participants have a keen interest in continuing the existing relationships. Suppliers look for guarantees because of their sunk cost investments, and buyers want guarantees about the quality, especially for a product like beef, which they find difficult to evaluate. Continuity is reinforced through the creation of habits and through the creation of personal, emotional bonds.

The continuity of the bond between primary actors in a chain network presupposes mutual trust. The way in which this trust is created differs from one circuit to another. Central in the artisanal circuit are long lasting, personal relations between breeders and their butcher and between butcher and clients. In the scientized circuit the label "Carni Umbri di Qualità" , which guarantees standardisation and laboratory checks, plays an important trust-inspiring role. In the anonymous circuit trust and coherence seem to be developed weakly. This is why the butchers of this circuit suffer more than their colleagues from competition of nearby supermarkets. In the integrated circuit trust is installed by means of the contracts between the supermarket and farmers and slaughterhouses in which the mutual interests are laid down. To consumers the reputation of the supermarket and the quality label on the 'integrated' beef are the trust enhancers.

The differences in the creation of trust are reflected in the structure of transaction costs, i.e. the costs that a supplier or buyer must sustain on top of the nominal price in order to get transactions done. In some circuits a lot of time is invested in the development and maintenance of personal bonds, whereas in other circuits time and money is lost in the negotiation about contracts and the enforcement of compliance. Relevant for the circuits approach, and may be in general, is not so much the hight of these governance costs - they may be equal in different circuits - but the specific form they have. The specificity of the 'code of conduct' in a circuit determines the relative autonomy and competitive advantage of its chain networks vis-à-vis the networks of other circuits, just like the specificity of the physical resources of a circuit adds to this relative autonomy. Both imply additional costs in case an actor (or an entire chain network) switches to the network of a different circuit, the so-called transformation costs (which come on top of the mere switching costs that he has to sustain anyway, also when he enters a new network within the same circuit.)

A certain degree of internal coherence and co-ordination, here called systemness, is essential to the functioning of a chain network. It reflects a good tuning of the mutual economic interests and of considerations about quality. The degree of systemness is considered to be a function of two dimensions: the intensity of commercial interactions (frequency, duration, and load) and the degree of regulation of those contacts (planning of supply and demand, hierarchy, formal rules). This decomposition allows for a graphic projection of the different circuits of an agri-food product, which illustrates the relative competitive advantage of each of them. Thus, the artisanal circuit of the Umbrian beef chain, for instance, has a high score on the intensity dimension, reflecting strong personal bonds between the primary actors, whilst the integrated circuit has a high score on the regulation dimension, reflecting the use of formal contracts and long distance relationships, but is low on intensity.

The intensity and regulation dimensions are not completely independent of each other; tendentially, there is a trade-off. When, for instance, the scale (distance, number of actors) of a chain network increases, intensity will normally diminish, and therefore regulation has to increase, if actors strive to maintain the same degree of systemness.

In the analysis of systemness, besides the social-transactional aspect, the physical-economic aspect must be considered. In the direct circuit of the Umbrian beef chain, for instance, the investment by consumers in large home freezers, makes it possible and at the same time profitable for them to buy larger quantities of beef in one visit, being the packages that direct selling farmers offer. Such unique material elements of a circuit together constitute its specific infrastructure. Together with the specific social institutions (habits and conventions, which structure the commercial relationships of a circuit in a more invisible way) they constitute the circuit-specific resources .

The analysis of systemness applies in the first place to the level of the chain network, but occasionally it may be relevant at the level of the circuit too, namely when there is a coherence within an geographically bound collection of similar chain networks. This clearly is the case in the scientized circuit of the Umbrian beef chain, because of the co-ordinating role of the Butchers Association of Perugia (capital of Umbria). It has a strong impact on the definition of quality through the professional courses it organizes, the hallmark it controls, and the wholesale service it provides to its members. All the other circuits are merely categorical denominators.

From a systemness analysis no conclusions can be drawn about the fitness of a particular circuit. Although a certain degree of systemness is primordial, high systemness is not equal to good performance. Fitness or medium term survival depends on the dynamics in the market environment (an environment that, in turn, is partly shaped by the actors of the circuit). In a quickly changing environment (legislation, technology, consumption pattern) loosely organised chain networks are expected to have better perspectives, whereas in a stable situation tight relations do. In the first case flexibility and low transformation costs are crucial, in the second case efficiency in production and logistics and low governance costs of transactions determine the competitive advantage. In general, a very high degree of systemness of vertical relations leads to rigidity and a loss of self-renewing capacity, whilst a very low degree of systemness leads to uncertainty and a bad tuning of the successive actions throuhout the chain.

Definition framework

The early definitions of circuit in the French and Italian filière literature are quite superficial. The same holds true for many other "chain terms". Four variables have been developed in order to describe the analytical scope of a chain term rather exhaustively:

level of aggregation, or horizontal extension (geographically; numbers),level of integration, or vertical extension,degree of inclusion, or systemic extension,focus, or thematic extension.

The term circuit can thus be defined as a vertical segment of the macro-economic chain (or commodity system) of a single agri-food product. It comprises all similarly organised chain networks within a delimitated area. It comprises the actions in all stages, from producers to consumers. The degree of inclusion is limited to the primary actors, i.e. those who take part in the buying and selling of the product. At the level of the circuit overall actors who exclusively operate for this circuit are considered as if they were primary actors. The focus of the circuits approach is on production as well as marketing processes. Characteristic of the approach is, further, the focus on diversity and differentiation. Therefore, a circuit always is analysed in comparison to other, competing circuits for the same product in the same area.

On the basis of the first two variables, integration and aggregation, the so-called chain frame has been designed, which allows for a rough visualisation of any chain term (see Figure 2.2).


Fig. 2.2

The circuits approach requires a clear and motivated geographic delimitation of the research area. Circuits are always defined in a specific geographical and socio-economic context; they never are universal. In the case of the Central Italian beef sector, the administrative borders of the Region of Umbria have been chosen. A consequence of the geografical boundedness of the circuits approach is that chain networks that extend beyond the borders of the area are only partially analized. Only the consumers and their direct suppliers are considered. The question remains whether this really distorts the picture of a circuit or not. The anonymous circuit in the Umbrian beef chain is anonymous in the very perception of its butchers and consumers.

The production of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese : the force of an artisanal system in an industrialised world
Roest, K. de - \ 2000
Agricultural University. Promotor(en): Jandouwe van der Ploeg. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058082985 - 279
kazen - kaasbereiding - productie - methodologie - technologie - italië - economische productie - cheeses - cheesemaking - production - methodology - technology - italy - economic production
<p>In many respects the Parmigiano-Reggiano production system is a unique dairy system. The processing of 1.35 million tons of milk into a high quality product in 600 small cheese dairies using predominantly artisan production techniques is not found anywhere else in Europe. The high labour input required both on the dairy farms and in the cheese dairies creates considerably more employment than any other dairy system. About 20,000 men and women work everyday in this very special system. In an industrial dairy system designed to produce the same quantity of milk, no more than 8,000 people would be employed. The final quality of the cheese is heavily dependant on the ability of the cheese-maker to process the different qualities of raw milk - which varies from season to season and from farm to farm - without using any additive except for the dairy-based whey starter and rennet.</p><p>In an industrial dairy system milk is the raw material for a wide range of dairy products all of which are the result of a combination of technological processes and additives and the latest bio-chemical research. The central question addressed in this study was formulated as follows. Given the fact that most European dairy systems have adopted industrial production techniques, how has the Parmigiano Reggiano systems been able to maintain the use of artisan, labour intensive techniques? Why has this system not industrialised, like other ancient cheese production systems in many other countries?</p><p>The answer to these questions can only be found if we use theories that go beyond the liberal, atomistic conception of the profit maximising ' <em>homo economicus</em> '. His behaviour can only be understood when his institutional and social context is taken into account. The problem is that notions such as loyalty, commitment, trust and a sense of belonging do not fit easily into economic concepts. Although it must be said that more recent economic theories are moving towards an incorporation of concepts that go beyond mere economic variables to take account of the behaviour of the actors involved.</p><p>The theory on economic districts and institutions contains considerable interpretative power and can help us understand the reasons for the economic validity and persistence of the Parmigiano-Reggiano system. The integration of positive externalities generated within the district into the firm balance, alleviates the higher costs generated by limited economies of scale in predominantly small firms. In the peripheral zones of the Parmigiano Reggiano production area, where the network of cheese dairies is less dense the tendency to resist during periods of price crises is weaker than in areas with a high concentration of cheese dairies. Here, a dairy farm will be more likely to close down for there is neither the density of farms or sufficient cheese dairies to create a system of common shared values about how milk should be produced. Neither is there a sense of belonging to the Parmigiano Reggiano system. These common values and a sense of belonging are very strong in the central zones of the Parmigiano Reggiano production area.</p><p>The small-scale co-operative structure of the cheese dairies is a second factor that is also extremely important to the strength of the system. The strong integration of milk production and milk processing significantly reduces the transaction costs in this link of the Parmigiano-Reggiano system. Mutual trust and loyalty to the cheese dairy on the part of its members are the basic forces that hold this social organisation together. Enlarging the scale of the cheese dairies and effecting mergers with other dairies are subjects that always generate fierce debate. They not only involve the clash of two political worlds, but there is also the fear that such changes might have a detrimental effect on the final quality of the cheese. The fact that the cheese-maker must exercise control over key operations within the production process is regarded as a prerequisite for the quality of the cheese and puts a brake on any development towards large-scale processing units.</p><p>Many cheese dairies have market relations with just one or two cheese maturing firms and these commitments do not change much over time. Although many improvements may take place in this market relationship to the benefit of the cheese dairies, the stability of sales to a few purchasers guarantees a high reliability and this in turn reduces transaction costs.</p><p>A third important pillar of the Parmigiano-Reggiano system is the family farm structure that characterises the majority of Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy farms. These types of farm have lower monetary costs than farms that rely primarily on hired labour. Moreover, many dairy farms follow a style of farming that foresees a low integration into input markets, a factor that contributes significantly to reducing monetary costs. The low proportion of monetary costs within total production costs enables many farms to survive periods of price crises. Even though the temptation to produce industrial milk is high during difficult times, farmers will continue to produce milk for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This is because deterioration's in the input/output price ratio does not penetrate their farm management decisions to the same extent it penetrates the decisions of farms that are more dependent on market price fluctuations. Dairy farmers who belong to the Parmigiano-Reggiano system are conscious of these strong price variations. During periods of high prices, which may exceed industrial milk prices by 30-40 percent, investments are made in new cowsheds, machinery and equipment.</p><p>On average the diflated average price for Parmigiano-Reggiano milk over an eight-year period is similar to the deflated average industrial milk price, but the Parmigiano-Reggiano price remunerates a much higher labour input than the industrial milk price. In their management decisions Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy farmers take into account the long-term economic efficiency of their farms and are prepared to balance out periods of high prices with periods of low prices.</p><p>The fourth factor that contributes to the uniqueness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano system is institutional involvement. Local research centres, representative bodies and the public administration direct the specific technological development of the system. Certain developments are deliberately blocked while others are favoured. Although production and processing costs have to be kept down, the main focus of technological innovation is to maintain the quality difference with Parmigiano-Reggiano main market competitors. Its objective is to prevent a rush versus the indiscriminate introduction of those technologies which may be able to reduce processing costs significantly, but may alter the product in such a way that Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese would loose its present market position. In a single industrial firm similar strategies are undertaken by the R&D department. In the Parmigiano-Reggiano system, however, this task is performed collectively by a group of actors and institutions who are involved in production and who try to define the specific technological development path best suited to the product. The success of maintaining artisan production techniques has to be attributed to the capacity of the actors to arrive at a convergence of their individual objectives and strategies.</p><p>These four factors explain the uniqueness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano production system. It is a dairy system that uses artisan milk processing techniques, represents 15 percent of the Italian milk market, and is able to guarantee more than double employment in milk production and processing. Further, it is able to sustain economic development in less favoured areas and has a significantly better environmental impact than industrial dairy farms.</p><p>If these are the most important characteristics of the Parmigiano-Reggiano system as it is now, the question is how is it likely to evolve in the future. Will the system maintain its distinctive characteristics and is it able to resist external pressures? Might there be some reason for the actors to abandon the current production techniques and turn towards industrialisation?</p><p>The fact is that its market position puts the Parmigiano -Reggiano system under constant pressure to standardise its production and processing technology and this may compromise its link with the specific conditions of the production area. Moreover, the product faces competition from lower-priced alternatives, such as the Grana Padano cheese produced in Lombardy at lower cost and using specific but more industrial-type techniques.</p><p>The fierce debate about technological innovations reflects the importance of the choices that have to be made. Among the different farm styles identified, the large-scale, intensive farms with high-yielding cows seem to be more open to innovations that can lead to reductions in milk production costs. These vanguard farms, with a high proportion of hired labour and considerable bank exposure are more sensitive to reductions in production costs. They are more integrated into the markets but, at the same time, they are also more vulnerable to price fluctuations. This type of farm is more inclined to leave the Parmigiano-Reggiano system in times of price crises.</p><p>In this period of rapid increasing globalisation two tendencies may emerge: the abandonment of local culture under pressure of the increasing amount of exposure to elements from a global culture, or the enforcement of local culture in defence of local identity. The long history of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has contributed to the enforcement of this culture up to now, but if in future short-term profit considerations come to dominate the management decisions made by Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy farmers, this may weaken their commitment to the production system.</p><p>Finally, we may question whether this example of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese system could be repeated elsewhere as a way of creating more employment in the countryside. Insights can be drawn from this emblematic case of a regional specific product that may be useful to rural development. Particularly interesting is the social organisation of the system and the way it has developed over time. A precondition for the success of any regional specific product is a strong link between the actors and the local culture and history of the area where the product originates. Although very strict product regulations can be designed for any regional specific product to help create a new segment for the product on the market, compliance with these rules and regulations can best be secured if the actors have a strong cultural attachment to the product. There is no quality certification body able to control the compliance of actors with product regulations if the actors themselves do not identify with the product. New initiatives for the development of regional specific products on the market should be based on products supported by a minimum number of producers strongly convinced of its specificity and typicality.</p><p>If these factors are essential conditions on the supply side, on the demand side a significant number of consumers should have an interest in and be willing to pay for regional specific products. This manifest or hidden demand should be reached or discovered by the producers of a regional specific product either directly by direct sales, when product volumes are small or through multiple retail outlets when product volumes become larger. Large retailer groups may come more into line with the interest of producer groups involved in the processing of regional specific products, if the selling of these products contributes to their differentiation strategy as far as their competitors on the market are concerned.</p><p>The Parmigiano-Reggiano system is in many respects unique and cannot be reproduced elsewhere. Nevertheless, the interesting elements involved in the Parmigiano-Reggiano process suggests how it may be possible to produce an agricultural product with significantly higher labour input and a lower environmental impact. Rural employment and eco-compatibility will be key elements in future European agriculture and the Parmigiano-Reggiano system can be considered an emblematic case of how these two policy objectives can be combined.</p>
Dag/nachtschema's bij vleeskuikens: minder uitval!
Harn, J. van; Middelkoop, J.H. van - \ 1999
Praktijkonderzoek voor de Pluimveehouderij 10 (1999)2. - ISSN 0924-9087 - p. 13 - 16.
vleeskuikens - vleesproductie - lichtregiem - dierenwelzijn - huisvesting, dieren - prestatieniveau - productiviteit - karkassamenstelling - bedrijfsresultaten in de landbouw - economische productie - broilers - meat production - light regime - animal welfare - animal housing - performance - productivity - carcass composition - farm results - economic production
Het Praktijkonderzoek Pluimveehouderij Het Spelderholt (PP) heeft bij vleeskuikens drie dag/nachtschema s vergeleken met continu licht. Dit onderzoek toonde aan dat dag/nachtschema's een positieve invloed hebben op de technische resultaten en op het welzijn van het dier.
Tungolie
Sengers, H.H.W.J.M. ; Koster, A.C. - \ 1998
Den Haag : LEI-DLO - ISBN 9789052424637 - 115
tungolie - productie - handel - toepassingen - china - zuid-amerika - vs - economische productie - tung oil - production - trade - applications - south america - usa - economic production
Coping behaviour of extension agents in role conflict situations : a case study in Xinji county, China
Huang, R.Q. - \ 1998
Agricultural University. Promotor(en): Cees van Woerkum; M.C.H. Wagemans. - S.l. : Huang - 160 p.
plattelandsontwikkeling - plattelandsplanning - landbouw - katoen - economische situatie - innovaties - modernisering - rolconflicten - gedrag - china - landbouwvoorlichting - economische productie - rural development - rural planning - agriculture - cotton - economic situation - innovations - modernization - role conflicts - behaviour - agricultural extension - economic production
<p>This book is about the coping behaviour of extension agents in role conflict situations in a changing environment in China. The study presents the case of cotton production in Xinji county, China.</p><p>Chapter 1 gives background information on Chinese agricultural and rural reform since 1978 and its impact for extension system and extension agents. Before the rural reform, Chinese agriculture was collectively managed. The extension system dealt with collective groups of farmers and was used as a policy instrument to implement government policy. Since the rural reform, the rural economy and social environment have been changed considerably, the main transformations being that the managerial unit changed from commune and brigade to individual household, and traditional agriculture switched to industrialised and commercialised agriculture. After the rural reform, the extension system had to deal with individual farmers and to take their wishes into consideration.</p><p>The second Chapter formulates the research problem and research objectives. Since the reform, it has become clear that farmers' interests also have to be served by the extension system. Farmers will not follow extension recommendations unless they are convinced that it is in their interests to do so. Thus the client market has emerged alongside policy as a second important driving force for the extension system. Now the extension system has to serve both the interests of policy makers and farmers. In China there is a clear conflict between the goals of the government and of farmers in the field of cotton production. The government wants farmers to produce a certain amount of cotton while farmers want to make more profits from non-farming sectors or in growing fruit trees and vegetables. Therefore, two driving forces - policy and client market - create a conflict situation for the extension agents. The extension agents find themselves exposed to conflicting expectations. From this, the main research question emerges as: how do extension agents in Xinji county experience and cope with the role conflict generated by the increasingly opposing demands of the policy mandate and client market force? Research objectives and relevance of the study are also discussed in this Chapter.</p><p>Chapter 3 provides a theoretical framework relevant to this study. Role conflict theories have been reviewed. As a result, four types of behaviour and three behaviour determinants are put forward. The four types of behaviour are: take sides, compromise, avoid and resolve conflict. The three behaviour determinants are: legitimate power and positive and negative sanctions power of the role senders. Some critiques on the existing role conflict theories are discussed and modifications are made, for example, a focal person's own goal is added as one behaviour determinant. Some cultural differences are also discussed in relation to the validation of the role conflict theory.</p><p>Chapter 4 presents the research approach and methodology used in this work. A grounded theory was used to guide the study process, and case studies were used to conduct the research. Data collection methods and techniques are discussed and, the Chapter concludes with some experiences of undertaking social research in China.</p><p>In Chapter 5, a description of the study area and the situation of cotton production are provided, in which the natural environment, social structure, basic facts and production with particular regard to the cotton production are elaborated. The importance of cotton production in China is also given in order to clarify why the government is intervening so strongly in this sector.</p><p>In Chapter 6, both government policy and farmers' attitudes towards cotton production are presented. Conflicts between the expectations of the government and farmers for extension agents are discussed.</p><p>The main research findings are presented in Chapters 7 and 8. All extension agents perceive a role conflict in cotton production, but the degree of role conflict varies. The higher level of extension agents (CEAs) perceive a clear role conflict, but not as strong as the extension agents at lower levels (TEAs and VLs). This study shows that the existing role conflict resolution theories are too simple and too static. It finds that there are more types of coping behaviour and more factors which determine coping behaviour. In Tables 7.2, 9.1 and 9.2, the various types of coping behaviour adopted by the different levels of extension agents are given. The reasons and conditions for adoption are also provided in these tables.</p><p>A new theoretical model for understanding the coping behaviour of extension agents is introduced in Chapter 8, in which a division is made between internal and external factors. The internal factors are considered to be the major determinants for explaining coping behaviour in a role conflict situation. They are as follows: goals of a focal person; degree of power held by a focal person; perceived legitimate power and perceived sanction power of role senders; past experience; attributes of role conflict and; interpersonal relations. The external factors do not have a direct influence on the coping behaviour of a focal person, but can influence internal factors and finally can have an indirect influence. They are: incentive structure; organisational hierarchy; focal person's background; professional position and specialisation of the focal person; whether party member; age of the focal person and; peer behaviour. The reasons behind the different types of coping behaviour of extension agents at different levels are also presented in Chapter 7. These reasons are discussed along the following lines of differentiation: the power of the focal person; the governing principles; uncertainty at varying levels; incentive structure and; feasibility of monitoring field activities and in power distance.</p><p>The handling of role conflict is a dynamic rather than a static process. Three aspects of the dynamic process are discussed in Chapter 8:<OL><LI>many roles are negotiated at all levels, and all parties within the role negotiation are both sending and receiving roles. A lot of bargaining take place in the negotiation process;<LI>there is no fixed coping behaviour in the role conflict situation, and shifting patterns of selective coping behaviour result, in line with situational changes;<LI>the relationship between all three parties (government officials, extension agents and farmers) is in a dynamic process of change. All parties experiment during the whole process of the role conflict in order to find a suitable way to deal with it.</OL></p><p>In the final Chapter, conclusions, discussion and recommendations are outlined based on the study. It is concluded that there are indeed more types of coping behaviour than the existing role conflict theory proposes. Besides taking sides, compromising, avoiding and resolving conflict, there are also other types of behaviour such as: to concentrate on one's own goal, to wait-and-see, to experiment and resign. These new types of coping greatly extend our understanding on the coping strategies that a focal person may take. This study shows that focal persons such as extension agents at any level also have some personal goals other than the expectations of the government and farmers. These personal goals influence their coping behaviour to a certain extent. The only point of differentiation might be the degree of power that the focal persons have in seeking their own goals in a role conflict situation. As this study shows, CEAs have more power to pursue their own goals than TEAs and VLs. When faced with a role conflict situation, extension agents demonstrate a more professional attitude at county level, but act more as government officials at township level. In a difficult role conflict situation, focal persons do not always take action. They may wait-and-see or even resign from the conflict situation. These two strategies are normally applied when role senders from different sides put strong pressure on the focal persons, leading to them not knowing how to perform their tasks. The identification of the strategy of experimentation is extremely important in extending our understanding of the focal person's coping behaviour. This study shows that a focal person would adopt this behaviour in a new and difficult situation.</p><p>This research indicates that the strength of a role conflict is a very important determinant for understanding the coping behaviour of focal persons. When the role conflict is weak, i.e. when the difference in expectations between role senders is not big, then it is fairly straightforward for a focal person to respond in certain ways. In this case decisions will be strongly related to the focal person's own goals or other factors, because no matter what he/she does, there will be no strong objections from either of the role senders. However, when the role conflict becomes strong, i.e. when the difference in expectations between role senders is big, then a focal person may find it difficult to commit him/herself to certain behaviour, especially when both role senders have sanction powers. In such cases, the focal persons are more likely to become ego defensive and fall back onto other coping strategies, such as wait-and-see or experimentation. This factor has received little attention in the existing role conflict theory. In the final section of Chapter 9, some areas for further research and practical recommendations are suggested, based on the research results.</p>
Return on capital in the European fishery industry
Davidse, W.P. ; Boude, J.P. ; Daures, F. ; leFloc'h, P. ; Oakeshott, E. ; Duran, M. ; Jensen, C.L. ; Smit, M.H. ; Taal, C. ; Wijk, M.O. van - \ 1997
The Hague : LEI-DLO - ISBN 9789052424095 - 126
vis vangen - visserij - kapitaal - bedrijfsresultaten in de landbouw - rentabiliteit - economische situatie - ondernemingen - winsten - verliezen - schuld - europa - economische productie - fishing - fisheries - capital - farm results - profitability - economic situation - enterprises - profits - losses - debt - europe - economic production
Bio-economic evaluation of multi-species and multi-annual fisheries management measures (BIOECO/93/15)
Salz, P. - \ 1996
The Hague : LEI-DLO (Onderzoekverslag / Landbouw-Economisch Instituut (LEI-DLO) 150) - ISBN 9789052423715 - 285 p.
mariene gebieden - bedrijfsvoering - landbouwsituatie - economische situatie - landbouw - economische sectoren - economie - handel - nederland - groot-brittannië - frankrijk - visgronden - landbouw als bedrijfstak - economische productie - marine areas - management - agricultural situation - economic situation - agriculture - economic sectors - economics - trade - netherlands - great britain - france - fishing grounds - agriculture as branch of economy - economic production
Prognose van behoefte aan ondersteunend glas in Noord-Holland-Noord
Buurma, J.S. ; Vroomen, C.O.N. de; Gemert, J. van - \ 1996
Den Haag : LEI-DLO (Mededeling / Landbouw - Economisch Instituut (LEI-DLO) 558) - ISBN 9789052423418 - 50
economische situatie - teelt onder bescherming - nederland - economische productie - noord-holland - economic situation - protected cultivation - netherlands - economic production
PIEteR : a field specific bio-economic production model for decision support in sugar beet growing
Smit, A.B. - \ 1996
Agricultural University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik; J.A. Renkema; J.H. van Niejenhuis. - S.l. : Smit - ISBN 9789054855903 - 201 p.
beta vulgaris - suikerbieten - besluitvorming - bedrijfsvoering - operationeel onderzoek - simulatie - werkschema - lineair programmeren - analyse van besluiten - economische situatie - plantenveredeling - computersimulatie - simulatiemodellen - economische productie - sugarbeet - decision making - management - operations research - simulation - work flow - linear programming - decision analysis - economic situation - plant breeding - computer simulation - simulation models - economic production
<br/>To support decisions in sugar beet growing, a model, PIEteR, was developed. It simulates growth and production of the crop in a field specific way, making a tailor-made approach in decision taking possible.<p>PIEteR is based on causal regression analysis of Dutch data of mostly experimental sugar beet fields. Its prototype, which only simulated root and sugar yields, was selected through a test on the performance of four models and extended with a number of parameters: sugar content, (K + Na) and α-amino-N contents, extractability index, tare content, operating receipts (a measure for gross returns), and amounts of leaves and nitrogen in leaves and crowns after harvest. Growth and production rates are corrected by a water balance module.<p>The effects of plant density, nitrogen availability and harvest date were modelled and included in PIEteR, thus improving its applicability and the accuracy of the predictions. The profitability of resowing after a poor crop establishment was studied and critical plant densities were given for several combinations of sowing and resowing dates. The profitability of a delay in harvest depends to a large extent on the question whether the sugar yield has exceeded the sugar quota level or not. A method to allocate equipment costs to crops, making tactical decisions on sugar beet area possible, was described and included in PlEteR.<p>Validation of PIEteR on a set of commercial and experimental sugar beet fields showed average prediction errors for root and sugar yields and financial returns per ha of 12 %, 13 % and 13%, respectively, and the variances accounted for were 52%, 51% and 50%, respectively. A major part of the prediction errors was caused by the prediction error of the sugar content and by the use of average regional instead of local yield and quality levels.<p>Improvements on PIEteR can contribute to successful use in practical applications, such as: 1) decision support at farm and field level; 2) industrial campaign planning; 3) yield gap analysis; 4) analysis of new cropping techniques, new cultivars, etc. Further research on the prediction of local levels of output parameters seems to be the most important option for improvement of PIEteR, followed by addition of modules for weeds, diseases and pests, cultivars and preceding crops.
Agricultural marketing in the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica.
Jansen, H.G.P. ; Tilburg, A. van; Belt, J. ; Hoekstra, S. - \ 1996
Turrialba : CATIE (Serie Tecnica / Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza 271) - ISBN 9789977572383 - 120
voedingsmiddelen - voedselproducten - landbouwproducten - agronomie - markten - marketing - marktconcurrentie - aanbodsevenwicht - handel - distributie - voedselproductie - economie - economische situatie - voedselconsumptie - kleine bedrijven - costa rica - economische productie - middelgrote bedrijven - foods - food products - agricultural products - agronomy - markets - market competition - supply balance - trade - distribution - food production - economics - economic situation - food consumption - small businesses - economic production - medium sized businesses
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