Last changed: 06 February 2015

H2020 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action Project

Governance Species - Classification of Governance Structures in Agri-food Industry


The project will develop a systematic classification of the organizational modes of European Agri-Food Supply Systems (AFSS). The complexity of relations and activities along the agri-food supply chain is increasing, as well as the interconnections at different levels and between different actors in the chain. Policy-makers, practitioners and scholars are increasingly aware of the need to understand organizational modes to improve the functioning of AFSS. Agri-business activities are regaining centrality in the economy, in terms of opportunities for new entrepreneurship, employment and growth. Food safety, quality, environment and innovation are gaining a central role on the policy agenda. Traceability and certification along increasingly international chains are important challenges and are affecting the future directions of AFSS. Traditional organizational arrangements are frequently unable to address these challenges. Although a great effort has been given to disentangle the diversity of organizations, very little has been done to produce a systematic classification of the forms of organizations in various industries. The agri-business industry is rich in economic and organizational architectures which challenges classic conceptualization schemes that are mostly developed to explain vertical integration in industrial sectors. Therefore, the project has three objectives: 1. To analyze the main conceptualization of organizational modes and organizational choices in European AFSS; 2. To apply and improve the classification of organizational modes in AFSS through analyses of case studies and application of the conceptual model of organizational modes and their dimensions. 3. To establish a research community to further expand the classification and its applications and to create innovative tools (i.e. a database, a website) to support more efficient choices of organizational modes by decision-makers.