The chairman of fruit marketing group Poupart Limited has said that the move to shorter supply chains should benefit primary producers such as growers.
Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference last week Laurence Ollins said moves by some retailers to reduce the number of intermediaries between themselves and producers had both potential benefits and drawbacks for farmers.
“The four major retailers are under attack from discounters and the more costly end,” he said. “So they have been taking out support provided by middle men and some of these changes will inevitably fall to the producer.
He added that while cost reductions could be of benefit, these needed to be shared evenly between retailers and producers. “The challenge is whether different forms of supply chain management are benefiting growers,” he said. “This depends how involved farmers are in the supply chain. Producers must be prepared to play a more active role in the chain, this puts a new strain on their business.”