Supplementary information

Retailers will be able to volunteer any information they have on the following, which may be used as case study material in RTTT communications:

Relation and trade-offs with other modules


The encouragement of smaller scale and family farming, for instance by encouraging and sourcing from small co-operatives, is an integral part of promoting local sourcing of regional products.


Labour standards in the supply chain, including plantation agriculture, are covered by the Workers module. The Workers module may extend its benchmarking to codes of practice applied to the smallholder sector in subsequent years.[49]


A potentially serious trade-off between terms of trade and nature conservation arises with the application of standards for farm biodiversity and sustainable agriculture. Standards and associated farm assurance schemes may be scale-biased andregressive instruments with relative higher costs and complexity—especially in determining conformity to technical regulations—falling on the smallest operation. There are concerns that standards are accentuating prevailing inequalities, and excluding small firms and producers from participating in market growth, marginalising small-scale primary producers or entrepreneurs. It is for this reason that the Nature module asks whether retailers provide any support to these producer suppliers to help them to develop and implement the farm environment audits (and plans), financial or otherwise.


Note that competitive pricing of meat requires live auctions, which adds to the number of animal movements. If supermarkets instruct their abattoirs to source animals with a maximum of two movements, then the trend towards sidelining auction markets and undermining competitive price discovery could be worsened.


Baines R et al. (1999). Implications of food assurance on UK primary producers. RICS Research Conference ROOTS 99.

Blowfield M and Malin A (1999) Safeguarding the African smallholder. NRET Working Paper 4. Available at

British Independent Fruit Growers’ Association (1999). Submission to the Competition Commission, 10th November 1999. BIFGA, Staplehurst, UK.

Borghesani WH, de la Cruz PL and Berry DB (1997a) Controlling the chain: buyer power, distributive control, and new dynamics in retailing. Business Horizons 40(4) 17-25.

Borghesani WH, de la Cruz PL and Berry DB (1997b) Food for thought: the emergence if power buyers and its challenge to competition analysis. Available at

Competition Commission (2000). Supermarkets: a report on the supply of groceries from multiple stores in the United Kingdom. Report #Cm 4842, 10 October 2000. 1220 pages. Available at

Dobson P (2002a) The Economic Effects of Constant Below-Cost Selling Practices by Grocery Retailers. Paper prepared for UK Federation of Bakers. Available at

Dobson PW (2002b) Retailer Buyer Power in European Markets: Lessons from Grocery Supply. Loughborough University Business School Research Series Paper 2002: 2. Available at

Dolan C, Humphrey J and Harris-Pascal C (1999). Horticulture commodity chains: the impact of the UK market on the African fresh vegetable industry. Working Paper 96, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex UK. Available at

Food Standards Agency (2002). Food Labelling: Country of Origin. Available at

Fox T (2000). Supermarket Squeeze, in Tomorrow magazine, September/October 2000

Kinsey J (1998) Concentration of ownership in food retailing: a review of the evidence about consumer impact. Working Paper 98-04, the Food Retail Industry Centre, University of Minnesota USA.

NRET (2001) Applying codes of practice in third world countries—what supermarkets can do to help. Available at

Oxfam (2001). Bitter Coffee: How the poor are paying fir the slump in coffee prices.

Reardon T et al (2001). Global change in agrifood grades and standards: agribusiness strategic responses in developing countries. International Food and Agribusienss Management Review 2(3).

Schroder B and Marks N (1996). The Retailer-Driven UK Food Industry: Structure, Performance and Implications for Australia. Australian Agribusiness Review - Vol. 4 - No. 2 – 1996, Paper 4. Available at

Tallontire A (2001). How corporate policy can improve market access for smallholders: the example of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain. Paper presented at the IIED Conference Equity for a Small Planet, London, November 2001

Vorley B (2003). Food, Inc. Corporate concentration from farm to consumer

Wrigley N and Lowe M (2002) Reading Retail: A geographical perspective on retailing and consumption spaces. Arnold, London.


[49] NRET Theme Papers, especially #3 ‘Implementing Codes in the Smallholder Sector’

Home | About | Issues | Results | Case studies | News | Contacts

Copyright ©2002 - 2003 IIED - all rights reserved

Site design and implementation by