Scholarly article on topic 'Study on Base Management Pattern of Food Producing Enterprise'

Study on Base Management Pattern of Food Producing Enterprise Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Academic journal
Physics Procedia
OECD Field of science
{"food producing enterprise" / "food safety" / "base management pattern"}

Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Weibin Zhang

Abstract When the food producing enterprises often comply with food safety regulations and industry management system passively, we need to consider can they transform their production and business pattern in order to avoid the food safety incidents completely? The answer is yes. The food producing enterprises can develop to the two directions of material planting and products in circulation through base management pattern substituting for the original operation pattern of in-plant processing and outside sales. The food producing enterprises should establish coordination and safe supervision mechanisms in order to achieve the management objectives of unified production, controllable risks and scale magnitude.

Academic research paper on topic "Study on Base Management Pattern of Food Producing Enterprise"

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Physics Procedía 24 (2012) 1108 - 1113



2012 International Conference on Applied Physics and Industrial Engineering

Study on Base Management Pattern of Food Producing


Weibin Zhang

Economics and Management department, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry Zhengzhou University of Light Industry Zhengzhou, China


When the food producing enterprises often comply with food safety regulations and industry management system passively, we need to consider can they transform their production and business pattern in order to avoid the food safety incidents completely? The answer is yes. The food producing enterprises can develop to the two directions of material planting and products in circulation through base management pattern substituting for the original operation pattern of in-plant processing and outside sales. The food producing enterprises should establish coordination and safe supervision mechanisms in order to achieve the management objectives of unified production, controllable risks and scale magnitude.

© 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of ICAPIE Organization Committee.

Keywords:food producing enterprise, food safety, base management pattern

1. Introduction

Agricultural industrialization management has about twenty-year development history in China. It made a large number of large-scale agricultural leading enterprises appeared, such as "new hope", "Yili", "Shuanghui". They have simple material collection and in-plant processing and outside sales at first. Now they organize scale production and extend industry chain continuously. They are the leading force of modern agricultural system in China. This indicates that agricultural industrialization management has developed to a new stage in China. However, when China has world-class agricultural enterprises, whether the market position and organization degree of traditional pattern (company + farmer) have corresponding increase?

Because the relationship between farmers and company is subsidiary relations, farmers have a passive disadvantage in the market transactions. Farmers often receive injuries when a series of food safety event

1875-3892 © 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of ICAPIE Organization Committee. doi:10.1016/j.phpro.2012.02.165

occurs such as "Sanlu Event", "orange event". When dumping milk, dumping oranges and killing cows and other extreme events happened, in fact they are questioned whether traditional pattern (company+ farmer) has something wrong?

Today, the question of food safety in China has gained great attention worldwide. We should discuss the pattern of company plus farmers again. It is not only related to the question of food safety, but also related to the question of rebuilding agricultural industrialization management pattern in China.

2. Traditional management pattern - "company+ farmer"

Traditional management pattern, that is, "company + farmer" pattern. The basic meaning of "company + farmer" pattern is that the enterprises which works in agricultural byproducts processing and circulation establish a certain economic contractual relationship with farmers, carrying out integrated operation.


Ordered agricultural _products_

2.1 The Advantages of "Company +Farmer" Pattern

The advantages of this pattern are obvious. Without changing the existing premise of family-run operation, it changes the traditional decentralized pattern of operation through the "company + farmer" pattern, to a certain extend, forming the specialized production, regionalized distribution, and socialized services. Thus the dispersed agricultural production has been converged into a large-scale agricultural production base, so as to improve the organization and management of agricultural production and scale merit, to enhance agricultural technological contents. Moreover, this pattern can further develop the deep processing of agricultural products and cross-regional sales, and saves the transaction costs for dispersive formers when entering market, achieves value-added and processing-added agricultural products to promote traditional agriculture to industrialization.

2.2 The Risks of "Company +Farmer" Pattern

Although "company + farmer" pattern preliminarily eliminates the contradiction between the production of petty farmers and the large demands of market in China rural areas, the inherent limitation also gives rise to numerous risks or agriculture production and operation.

1) a Single Enterprise faces a Number of Farmers: There is one single enterprise purchasing agricultural product, but thousands of existing individual farmers, among which lacks necessary medium of communication. This situation frequently leads to the difficulty of direct transference of demand information, and the weakness of effective organization during transaction process, as well as the supply instability and imbalance of market supply-and-demand situation.

2) The enterprises "Emphasize results, neglect processes": In the market economy, majority of the enterprises only contact with farmers based on their own purchasing criteria. The enterprises are simply finished factories of agricultural product, lacking attention to the production processes, letting alone the contact ahead of production. If appears the circumstance of counterfeit seeds, fertilizers or pesticide, the farmers' economic losses usually have nothing to do with the enterprises. Therefore, the relationship between enterprises and farmers is actually the simple market transaction in this pattern.

3) The market risk remains significant, and concentrates more on the enterprises: During the process of operation, regardless of planting, cultivating, and processing, or the trade, industry and agriculture, the extension and normal processing of industry chain is based on the premise of the normal operation of

enterprises themselves. For instance, leading enterprises own the high quality of products, strong market competitiveness and promising economic benefits, thus the whole industry chain would be active. However, if the enterprise had lost market competition, then the whole industry chain would be affected. What's more, the interdependence of the binding operating pattern also increases the turning difficulty for enterprises and farmers, so that the whole industry chain is solidified and fails to give quick response towards timely market changes, thereby faces greater risks.

4) The division of earning affects the stability of the operating pattern: Owing to pursuit of interests links the enterprises and farmers together, but in fact there are many contradictions of interests between enterprises and farmers. Farmers seek a higher sales price, while the enterprises try their best to bring down purchasing price, thus the price level has become the significant adjusting lever of the benefit division between enterprises and peasants. When the market price is higher than the agreement price, some farmers may attempt to renege and the sell the products in market; when the market price is lower than the agreement price, the enterprises may raise the idea of breach of contract, resulting in the benefit games between two parts, which goes against the long-term development.

In the period that seller's market plays a lending role in China, the disadvantages of "company + farmer" pattern are hided by the unproductive market environment, even being considered as the trump to success for agricultural modernization in China. When the market turns towards buyer's market, the market competition intensified, thus the weakness of "company +farmer" pattern revealed gradually. Not until the "Sanlu Gate" event, which represents a series of serious food safety incidents, broke out cannot we realize that maybe it because of the "company + farmer" pattern that leads to the occurrence of such kind of inevitable situations.

3. The experience of American "origin thinking"

The United States set up the third food administration organization in Shanghai after Beijing and Guangzhou in November 21, 2008. The US Secretary of Health and Human Services Department, Mr. Leavitt, said USA will apply the concept of ensuring safety from the source to all links of food production and consumption. Establishing food administration organization branch in overseas is American supervision idea based on "origin thinking". It makes us exclaim in surprise.

"Origin thinking" can reduce administrative cost and social cost, and has little adverse effect. If we can search out the accidents of food safety when it has just been brewing, it will involve short chain of business relatively. It will not make thousands of farmers and raw material producers, as well as manufacturer, purchasing company and forwarding agent involved in, and will not cause huge human and financial losses or even bankruptcy of some enterprises because of the quality of a single link incident. In contrary, if searching out quality accident when industrial chain becoming bigger, quality supervised department will be caught in a dilemma, and even the government pay bill eventually.

Compared with the American "origin thinking", the Chinese seem to have got used to "fighting fire thinking" , which taken stop-gap measures. For instance, when prohibiting using from supermarket first but not manufacturer to cope with the pollution of plastic bag in China, that means that we emphasis on disaster relief rather than disaster prevention. The final results are serious injury of consumers' health, bankruptcy of famous enterprises and atrophy of industry, as well as deposition of local official and damage of government image.

"Origin thinking" provides direction of reform for food security supervision in China, and points out ways for the pattern of "company + farmer", namely using "company + base" to instead of "company + farmer", putting an end to food safety incidents at its source.

4. Novel direct sale pattern -"company + base"

The prime drawback of "company + farmer" lies in different interest receivers which often lead to an outcome of uneven division. One way to eliminate this result is to unite interest chain from the source -converse farmers into employees of the company. Make farming a business and purchase farmer's land as company manufacturing base, thus making the original market trade an action of inside distribution.

Inclement food safety reality showed us great crisis caused by long and slow supply chain in Chinese food industry. Any tiny error within the chain would lead to a catastrophe. However, the "company + farmer" direct sale mode abridged the supply chain from the root and lead to win-win situation. The advantages are as follow:

4.1 As for the Company

From manufacturing, processing, transporting and to the final end, everything is under supervision. This reduces the low qualify issue caused by imbalanced information or failure to find a client.

4.2 As for the Farmers

On one hand, according to the policy of Chinese party, they can embody the policy by exchanging the landownership or rent it to company and boost income. On the other hand, they can get salary from the company by crop quantity harvested (per company quality demand).

4.3 As for the Market

"Company + base" pattern would change the traditional "farmer- merchandise- processor - supplier -end" long chain thoroughly by breaking the original "company +farmer" pattern, thus realizing "product-end" pattern or eliminating the middle process or reduce the possibility of food crisis.

4.4 As for the Customers

Customers can get fresher green food from short chain supply under the guarantee of food safety and it would be easier to protect their right as the embodiment of branding this mode. Public supervision would be better implemented since the responsibilities become clear.

Obviously, this manufacturing mode is not only a business mode but a new business concept which can forge win-win situation.

5. "Company + base (association) + farmers" pattern

5.1 The Necessity of Using "Company + Base (Association) +Farmer"Pattern

The benefits of "company + base" pattern are clear. However, whether it can be extended and replace the existing "company + farmer" pattern directly? The status of the market and rural areas in China tells us it can not at present. This is because enterprises need bigger capital scale to rent land from farmers directly and absorb the large number of farmers for the staff. However enterprises with such operational strength have not universality.

Moreover, "company + farmer" pattern requires the enterprises with strong management capabilities, in order to implement standardized management in each link from source to end. Management capacity of Chinese enterprises is only 1.5 layers on average, but the management capacity of western multinational corporations is 3-4 layers. So it need transform according the characteristics of market and rural areas in

China to realize "company + base" pattern. The result is using "company +base (association) + farmer" pattern.

5.2 The Advantages of "Company + Base (Association) +Farmer" Pattern

Company sets up their own "base company" or sets up a "cooperative" by industry associations. Base has responsible for transactions, information communication, signing contracts and quality management with farmers. Base plays the role of market intermediaries, so enterprises are not in direct contact with farmers basically.

Company and base establish right-duty relations by the form of economic contract in this pattern, clearly stipulated minimum safeguard price of agricultural products in the contract. Base has responsible for testing and purchasing ordered agricultural products according the contract, then sending agricultural products to the company for the final processing and sale. Company pays a certain percentage of agency commission to base.

1) As for the company: Base has a strong credit among the local farmers. It can reduce operational difficulties of signing and fulfilling contract with the farmers, reduce the operation cost of company, and it is beneficial to put an end to opportunism happened in the production and acquisition of raw materials links.

2) As for the farmers: Base can form large transaction through concentrating farmers' limited production, and achieve scale effect. Production and management by the farmers become concentrated relatively under the action of the base. It will contribute to the realization of agricultural mechanization and increasing production efficiency. Centralized management can make traders carried out organized, efficient transactions, and help farmers to obtain better terms of trade, such as discount, door delivery and technical service, etc.

6. Conclusion

"Company +base (association) + farmer" pattern is not the end of agricultural modernization in China. A large number of patterns will continue to happen with economic development and changes in market demand. What kind of business model enterprises will choose depends on the following factors:

6.1 Changes of Agricultural Product Market

Agriculture is not peasant economy in China after entering WTO. It faces huge domestic consumption demand and international market opening up gradually. Agricultural production, processing, transport and services are constantly receiving the test of international competition, and are affected by international market quotation.

6.2 Changes of the Relationship between Company and Farmer

The relationship between company and farmer changes from the initial product sale to deeper cooperative relationship, which includes breeding seed, technical guidance, agricultural products purchase and other cooperation of the whole industry chain. It is no longer a simple relationship of market

transactions between the company and the farmers, but it will form relationship of mutual promotion through all kinds of bases and association.

6.3 Changes of the Concept

Farmers are producers of agricultural products, and they are also consumers in huge market. Enterprises should develop market rural market actively when urban consumption has reached saturation state.


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[3]Sebestyen, G, Supervisory control and quality assurance in food industry, 2008 IEEE International Conference on Automation: 2008, pp195-199.