Relations between usage patterns of performance indicators and the role of individual firms in fresh fruit agri-food supply chains

Antonio Cunha Callado, Lisa Jack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose - This paper reports the use of performance metrics among 121 Brazilian agribusiness companies, with the aim of helping accountants and academics to understand the actual use of performance metrics in non-integrated supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach - To identify which performance metrics are used among supply chain partners, four independent clusters representing specific supply chain roles (input suppliers, farmers, distributors, and retailers) were formed. Data relating to 49 performance metrics was collected by questionnaire and analysed statistically to isolate common measures.

Findings - It was found among suppliers, farmers, distributors, and retailers that the performance metrics for return on investment, responsiveness, and response time to clients are not being used whereas customer satisfaction obtained a usage pattern in all roles in the four groups. Hence, it appears that customer satisfaction rather than financial sustainability is the driver for discussion between supply chain partners.

Research limitations/implications - Although limited to a sample of firms within Brazil, the findings confirm evidence from similar supply chains worldwide.

Practical implications - These findings suggest that the common metrics approach to measure supply chain performance may be very difficult to achieve in practice and other alternatives should be investigated by management accountants.

Social implications - A predominance of customer satisfaction metrics to the exclusion of discussions on financial performance between partners in agri-food supply chain has implications for the sustainability of the industry and the ability of accountants and managers to negotiate when faced with increasing input costs.

Originality/value - This contributes to accountants’ understanding of how performance measurement works in fragmented supply chains, whereas the majority of the literature is concerned with integrated supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-398
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Accounting Research
Issue number3
Early online date5 Sept 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 5 Sept 2017


  • performance measurement
  • integration
  • supply chain performance
  • information sharing
  • balanced scorecard
  • fresh fruit supply chain


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