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Title: Knowledge is Power? A market orientation approach to the global value chain analysis of aquaculture: Two cases linking Southeast Asia and the EU
Authors: Kelling, Ingrid
Supervisor(s): Young, James
Sparks, Leigh
Keywords: Global Value Chain Analysis
Market orientation
Issue Date: 12-Dec-2012
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis adds the market orientation approach to a global value chain analysis of four farmed seafood value chains from two Asian countries to the EU. The overall aim of the research is to critically evaluate whether, and to what extent, access to market information is the key to unlocking the potential of developing countries to create greater value: whether knowledge is power. The objectives of the thesis are therefore to explore the process of generating market information in seafood value chains from Asia to the EU; understand under what conditions market information is, is not or is only partially disseminated; and, evaluate the role of market information in responses by chain agents that create value. In order to achieve these objectives, fieldwork was conducted along the length of shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) from Bangladesh, and shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Thailand to the EU. The EU is the world’s largest single market for imported fish and fishery products. France, Germany and the UK were selected for fieldwork as they are primary importers of the species from the selected countries. The research found that although increased knowledge is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition for increased value creation. Instead, the research advances existing understanding of seafood value chains by revealing that successful integration of developing country producers into global markets is partly dependent on governance and industry development in the exporting country. Weaknesses in these structures and relationships undermine supplier power by reducing access to market information, lessening incentives for sharing information, and restricting response capabilities. A number of methods for overcoming these constraints were found in the chains examined, focusing on direct links between market and value chain agents. Importantly, the research found that integration is also dependent on the willingness of those with a market presence in importing countries to share knowledge and power. Critically, the research has led to the conclusion that the possession of market information is one way for value chain agents, particularly those downstream, to guard knowledge and power for themselves. A better understanding of seafood markets and an improved analysis of aquaculture value chains from Asian countries to the EU revealed through the research will facilitate public and private responses that focus on the competitive advantage of the whole chain as a means to more sustainable development. This may well promote new chain configurations that place a premium on stronger and more collaborative linkages, increasing coordination between weak and strong suppliers and contribute to private sector development assistance. Only when knowledge is shared and suppliers gain power, will the market orientation of seafood value chains be improved, if not optimised.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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