Value Chains in Agriculture, Food and Agri-Products Sectors
Collaborate to Compete
Welcome to the Value Chain Business Information Bundle - your resource centre for information on establishing and growing your value chain.
What is a value chain?
Agri-food Value Chains are designed to increase competitive advantage through collaboration in a venture that links producers, processors, marketers, food service companies, retailers and supporting groups such as shippers, research groups and suppliers.* A Value Chain can be defined as a strategic partnership among inter-dependent businesses that collaborate to progressively create value for the final consumer resulting in a collective competitive advantage.
The basic characteristic of a Value Chain is market-focused collaboration; different business enterprises working together to produce and market products and services effectively and efficiently. Value Chains allow businesses to respond to the marketplace by linking production, processing and marketing activities to market demands.*
Based on that understanding of a Value Chain you may now realize that you are already part of a Value Chain but have referred to it by a different name. No matter what term you prefer to use, if you are looking for information or considering whether to start, join or grow a Value Chain, then this site is a good place to start.
Value Chain Resources For Getting Started
The Value Chain Management Centre is a centre of international research, education and management excellence in agri-product value chains. This site also features a number of case studies on Ontario, Canadian and International agri-product value chains. The case studies cover the majority of agri-food industries and will help you understand the value chain business model.
This site prepared by Alberta's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development includes a number of agri-food value chain success stories.
This site from the United States national initiative called "Agriculture-of-the-Middle" includes four case studies of mid-sized food companies that developed value chains to provide them with competitive advantage. The case studies cover naturally raised beef, specialty grain, an organic dairy, and a marketing company for 35 fruit and vegetable producers.
Developed by Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta in conjunction with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, this guidebook is a great, user-friendly tool that leads you through the process of developing your own value chain.
Developed by the Value Chain Management Centre, this workbook is aimed at helping Canadian producers improve their profitability in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The National Good Food Network has four papers on value chains. Check out the two papers on Small Growers and Retailer Collaborations.
Funding Programs and Support
Value Chains can make use of a number of funding programs to support their creation and growth. There are two funding program links: Food and Beverage Support leads you to funding programs, services and other incentives most suitable for food and beverage processors; Agriculture Support leads you to those geared to the agriculture sector. If you explore both links you may notice that some funding programs and services can be used by both the food processing and agriculture sectors. Note that every funding program is unique, so please pay special attention to how and when they accept applications and their eligibility criteria.
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*Sourced and adapted from Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development
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