Construction of Green Supply Chain for Organic Products


Blanka Tundys
Department of Logistics, Faculty of Management and Economics of Services, University of Szczecin, ul. Cukrowa 8, 71-004 Szczecin, Poland

Andrzej Rzeczycki
Department of Logistics, Faculty of Management and Economics of Services, University of Szczecin, ul. Cukrowa 8, 71-004 Szczecin, Poland


The literature indicates that green supply chain is not only dedicated for organic products. Rather, the authors take a focus on the analysis of processes, organizational and law issues and the implementation of innovations that include, among others, the green aspects (manufacturing, production, transportation). Connection of green supply chain with organic products seems to be very important, among other reasons, because the development of the market for these products is dynamic. The interest of these products is growing worldwide. Production of organic products is legally regulated. The final result of this work will identify the basis for building a model of green supply chain for organic products (with emphasis on agricultural products), the identification of the factors forming the basis for the construction, relationships between stakeholders and indicate which of the factors determine the greening supply chain and whether they are necessary or sufficient factors for the role of ecological products of the market

Keywords: supply chain for organic products, green supply chain, greening of logistics processes

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Analyzing the scientific literature and business practices it should be indicated on the growing interest of green supply chain. This type of supply chain is considered from different points of view, forming its framework, considering the dependence and impact on various stakeholders as well as analyzing the costs. Connected of green supply chain with organic products seems to be very important, among other reasons, because the development of the market for these products is dynamic. A report: The world organic agriculture. Statistic & Emerging Trends 2014 (2014) shows that at the end of the year 2012 organic agriculture is used in 166 countries, than 88 from this countries has organic regulations. Organic agricultural land it is 37,5 million hectares (share of total agricultural land 0,87%). In 2012 was 1,9 million producers of organic products. The largest areas of organic agricultural land are: Oceania (12,2 million hectares, 32% of the world’s organic agricultural land) and Europe (11,2 million hectares, 30%). The countries with the most organic agricultural land are Australia (12 million hectares) and United States (2,2 million hectares). In the European Union 5,6 percent of the farmland is organic. However, begs the question, is the supply chain of these products also eco-friendly and green? If not, is there a need to adapt the green supply chain solutions? Should be constructed for the eco-friendly products separate green supply chains? And if these chains are existing, what for requirements must be fulfilled? The questions allowed the authors to put the following thesis: There is a need to adapt solutions and assumptions also framework of green supply chain for the supply chains of organic agricultural products. The verification of this thesis will be the basis of the theoretical part of the work. The authors take into account both law and organizational regulations. High impact on construction the framework will have ecological aspect of regional products, with particular emphasis on European Union and United States norms. To achieve the objective of the research, it will be conducted the structured review and study of literature, reports and documents (e.g. EU Commission, USDA). Then it will be presented the theoretical basis for the structure of the supply chain for organic products and verification of the thesis.

Changes in the global market for products and the growing interest of organic products also require matching appropriate design and structure of the supply chain for these products. In the context of this article, supply chains of two selected products from organic farming – food and cotton will be presented. The choice was made due to the character of the chains, specific construction and the ability to identify differences and similarities in the requirements and standards for the construction of this type of chain (Figure 1).

Referring to the previously presented thesis should be noted that: there is an explicit difference in the construction supply chain for conventional and organic products. Also supply chains for the organic products are differently constructed and dependent on the nature of the product. Considering two supply chain of organic farming (cotton and food products) it can be concluded that, although both can fulfill requirements for the greenness and environmental of chain, their structure is different. It should be also pointed out, that there is a need to create green supply chains for organic products, because only then all processes will meet environmental requirements.

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The application process will be preceded by a phase of analysis and research. The main element will be the presentation of conditions and the relationship between the creation of eco-friendly products and supply chain. The authors try to indicate whether organic products to require green supply chain and a green supply chain part of the strategy for this type of product. The results will be the basis for both scientific discussion and practical verification of the model. It will provide a foundation for the start of the study and the confrontation of theory with business practice. The above considerations are parts of the first phase of research, which in the next stages of research will be extended by supply chain stakeholders, manufacturers of organic products, and consumers.

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Most of organic products in supply chains particularly made for food are involved in local producers and they working together to promote the local food markets. These partnerships help boost the rural economy, creating new ways of selling local produce and attracting new types of customer. They also promote cooperation between local farms, the tourist industry and the food sector. This situation could be supports sustainable development by reducing transport costs, CO2 emissions, and wear and tear on rural roads, traffic congestion, and road accidents. Organic farming is becoming more popular in the world; therefore the natural environment must reconstruct supply chains. It is a part of their business outside. The economic costs created social and ecological minimization and will contribute more complete, systematic approach to the problem, not just organic production, but also and above all the supply chain. Organic cotton now represents 0.76 percent of the global cotton production, and with green supply chain it could develop the market and encourage customers to buy such goods. Green supply chain is a part of supporting of organic products. In a holistic approach it should be considered holistically processes, and therefore it is considered that organic products require the construction of green supply chain. The end about the idea of GSC means to come near to the question about our way (people) in which we are living. It is necessary to save monetary cost in production (reduction of cost) when the price for saving costs will be paid by future generation. The costumer is the biggest uncertainty. He stands in the end of GSC and makes his decision not yet with respect to the objects of sustainable development, ecological farming or GSC. Mostly they want to have an inexpensive product. And for this, the SC will always be imperfect. But GSC could be the beginning of a new challenge in more than transport. All parts of chain (include and especially customers) should be connected with organic thinking and have one aim – to be green.

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About Author

Blanka Tundys is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Logistics, at the Faculty of Management and Economics of Services, University of Szczecin, Poland. Her main research areas are: green supply chain management, green logistics, measurement of green supply chain, processes modeling and city logistics. She is an author and co-author of 70 publications and has written one book (City Logistics – in polish language, 2008 I. ed., 2013 II ed.). She was main contractor in 5 international research projects (finance by German Academic Exchange Services and Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung). She has gotten three times a scholarship of DAAD (German Academic Exchange Services) foundation (2001, 2004-2005, 2011). In 2004-2005 she has gotten a scholarship at the Fachhochschule Osnabrück (Germany), while she was preparing her doctoral dissertation. She has gotten twice scholarship by LLP – Erasmus-Program.

Andrzej Rzeczycki is a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Logistics at Faculty of Management and Economics of Services, University of Szczecin, Poland. He has a wide range of research interests including the logistics strategy in supply chains, logistics systems and processes modeling, game theory in logistics, risk management.