Strategies for differentiation and quase-rent appropriation in agriculture: the small-scale production

Título: Strategies for differentiation and quase-rent appropriation in agriculture: the small-scale production

*** Versão inglês e português

Autor: Maria Sylvia Macchione Saes

Resumo/Sinopse: The purpose of this research is to answer the question of whether there are sustainable, economically feasible strategies that can offset the decline in the agricultural income of small scale growers. To the end, Part 1 reviews the body of work on why entrepreneurs choose value-capturing and value-adding strategies and then builds a model to analyze differentiation in the rural sphere. Four theoretical perspectives are presented: (a) Strategic Positioning Analysis (SPA),which argues that firms gain sustainable competitive advantages (SCA) by creating access barriers to effective and potential rivals in the consuming markets in the form of economies of scale and scope and differential advantages; (b)Resource-Based View (RBV), which says that firms gain and sustain SCAs by identifying, developing and enhancing their internal resources so that their competitors cannot imitate their SCAs; (c) Transaction Cost Economics (TCE), which sees value creation as an outcome of the process of reducing transaction costs through governance structures that allow improving coordination among agents or that allows creating or discovering new asset attributes by redefining property rights; and (d) Knight’s Theory of the Profit (KTF), according to which rents are earned through the entrepreneur’s subjective ability to judge in a world of uncertainties and disequilibrium. The four theories presented were observed to be partial views of how firms can capture value. Thus this work proposes an integrative approach so as to provide the theoretical tool that allows better understanding SCAs. Drawing on this model, four strategic experiences from the Brazilian coffee agro industrial system are examined, divided into three categories: (a) Pooling interdependence, which presents the strategic focus of value creation through direct exports of good quality coffee taken by the Guaxupé Regional Cooperative of Coffee Producers (Cooxupé), the largest coffee cooperative in the world; (b) Sequential interdependence, which examines the quality coffee brand strategy of the roasting company illycaffè. (c) Reciprocal interdependence, in which two cases are analyzed: the experiences of Baturité and Poço Fundo producers, both encompassing growers’ actions aimed at adding value to coffee based on the sustainable coffee market. As a result, is observed that the most successful strategy in terms of representation (number of producers) is the one focused on scale and scope in the marketing of differentiated coffees. Another interesting finding regards the new paradigm in the relation between/ the downstream rural sector and the upstream segment, both regarding beverage quality and sustainability issues. A new set of parameters has been yielding gains in terms of rents for producers. The market of coffees certified as sustainable in the international market works as a cartel, with price increases for producers. Finally, the brand strategy in the rural segment that presents a greater possibility of value appropriation is also the most complex, and its results have not yet been consolidated in the case presented.

Data de publicação: 2010

Periódico/Editora: Annablume

Edição: 184 p.