Coordinated supply chains are commercial tools for competitive strategies, assuring quality, food safety, and better logistics. They serve high-end markets in industrial and developing countries. They are rapidly increasing in importance in global food markets but their share of production in developing countries is still small. There is widespread concern that small-scale farmers will be excluded from coordinated supply chains. Empirical evidence is mixed; there are abundant examples of successful inclusion as well as of painful exclusion. In some cases, economies of scale are such that only large-scale enterprises can compete successfully in global markets. Across the diverse potential players in these chains the playing field is seldom level. Developments in supermarkets and their suppliers are of particular significance and warrant tracking (some links are provided in the related RNFE site).
Because there is a need for more empirical research for better understanding of supply chains and because such analysis will help to better inform policy development and intervention in the diverse circumstances being faced by the World Bank’s clients, ARD organizes training courses and workshops, supports lending and non-lending activities, and produces conceptual papers such as 'China's Compliance with Food Safety Requirement for Fruits and Vegetables,' and 'Exclusion of Small-Scale Farmers From Coordinated Supply Chains.'