Supply Chain Collaboration among Agribusiness SMEs and Post-Brexit UK-Australia Trade
Agribusiness imports to the UK from Australia (AU) are currently constrained by several logistical and regulatory challenges—e.g., high transportation costs, long lead-times, low quotas, and high tariffs—which pose barriers for corresponding supply chains. Such roadblocks are more insurmountable for SMEs and new entrant producers and/or buyers with limited bargaining power as well as purchase/ production volumes which do not justify direct relationships with suppliers/ customers at a farther geographical distance. Horizontal cooperation among groups of buyers and/or sellers, in the form of purchasing groups or producer cooperatives, can boost supply chains and achieve the economies of scale which reduce production and logistical costs and justifies faster, though more expensive, trade routes.
This project aims to explore potential innovative supply chain solutions and identify opportunities for collaboration among groups of Australian agribusiness producers and UK buyers, with special focus on SMEs and new entrant firms. An indispensable dimension of this project is to incorporate drastic effects of current and near future political economy trends in logistical infrastructures, e.g., Brexit and development of China’s one-belt-one-road, which can cause easement in and recalibration of trade quotas and tariffs. Using scenario analysis, this project sheds light on required advance preparations for all UK-AU agribusiness supply chain parties, especially SMEs and new entrants.
While paving the way for collaboration between researchers in UK and Australia, deliverables of this project include knowledge dissemination with impact partners and academic community and scoping most promising directions of future research and pump-priming subsequent applications for larger national/international grants.