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Innovative services for zero-deforestation supply chains: a performance management approach

posted on 2023-09-15, 08:37 authored by Helen Walker, Maneesh Kumar, Jon Gosling, Anthony AlexanderAnthony Alexander
Unsustainable levels of tropical deforestation driven by expanding export markets for timber and food commodities such as soy, palm and coffee, have prompted various novel initiatives to monitor these international supply chains. Firms importing to the USA, EU, UK, Japan and elsewhere, face new due diligence regulations regarding ‘forest risk commodities’. New services seek to meet this need, including from law firms, satellite imaging specialists, NGOs, and management consultancies. This paper details a participatory case study into the creation of such a service where we observed a consortium of technical experts, supply chain actors and associated stakeholders developing a novel supply chain transparency data platform measuring deforestation risk for food sector clients. A complex food supply chain for blended soy is contrasted with a simple and transparent food supply chain for a single origin coffee producer with direct links with farmers. The theoretical framing of performance measurement and management (PMM) and decision theory conceptualises challenges of structured (simple) and unstructured (complex) contexts in food sector supply chains. The findings are relevant to wider sustainability topics, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and other policies with similar characteristics affecting business operations.


Publication status

  • Published


Academy of Management Proceedings




Academy of Management

Event name

Academy of Management Annual Meeting

Event location


Event type


Event date

4-8 August 2023

Department affiliated with

  • Business and Management Publications
  • Management Publications

Peer reviewed?

  • No

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