Ten conversations about identity preservation

Peter Goldsmith, Karen Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamics in the global food system, along with a cascade of technologies, drive demands for capturing information and sharing information vertically within the supply chain. Food safety, genetic engineering, and animal welfare all have contributed to the need for enhanced information flow within the supply chain. Identity preservation in grains and oilseeds is an emerging issue that may influence the structure of agriculture in the longer term. This research addresses the following questions. While demand for high-information grains appears to be growing, where and how along the supply chain is the value created and captured? Though it appears that the economy demands ever-increasing amounts of differentiation, why do opportunities for producers and life science companies to create and capture significant new sources of value remain elusive? To answer these questions needs assessments were conducted with grain procurement executives. Their responses reveal the "buyer's calculus" where buyers balance investment in specific relationship assets with the market uplift or risk mitigation return it generates. Buying from a competitively structured industry has numerous benefits. There is a "cost" or tradeoff leaving the spot market procurement model in favor of a relationship-based model; hence the calculus. The current equilibrium state reflects the current risk-adjusted value proposition suppliers deliver to end users. Though end-user benefits are on the horizon with the next generation of biotechnologies, their emergence is insufficient to guarantee farmers and life science greater returns. End users will always balance the risk mitigation and market uplift features of a supply offering with the risks of narrowing their supply base. To drive value up the chain, suppliers need to shift away from focusing solely on the products of the future and focus on the technologies, delivery systems, and organizational models that, when bundled with new products solve problems and make end users more competitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalJournal on Chain and Network Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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