Information sharing as a safeguard against the opportunistic behavior of South African Karoo Lamb farmers

04 Dec 2017

Misconduct in global meat supply chains are omnipresent and even more so in differentiated chains where credence attributes such as origin and taste are used to differentiate the product. By definition, these attributes signal asymmetric information which implies that in the presence of bounded rational individuals with conflicting interests, misconduct in the form of opportunistic behavior is bound to prevail. Increased information exchange through farmer networks is, however, expected to reduce opportunistic behavior. In the case of a differentiated meat product, such as Karoo Lamb, the article studies the farmer-abattoir transaction with the purpose of recommending strategies that can be implemented to reduce the farmer's tendency to behave opportunistically. The article employs the PLS approach to SEM and reveals a significant negative relationship between information shared and opportunistic behavior. The results indicate significant positive relationships between trust in the abattoir and information shared as well as between farmer networks and information shared. These results are indicative of the support provided to the information shared construct by higher levels of trust between farmers and abattoirs and established farmer networks. It is, therefore, recommended that differentiated meat supply chains, through their various associations, concentrate their efforts to promote information sharing by building stronger, trust centered relationships and by supporting farmer networks.