A Quantitative Metric to Identify Critical Elements within Seafood Supply Networks

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 9, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 11,405 words
Lexile Measure: 1690L

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Author(s): Éva E. Plagányi 1,*, Ingrid van Putten 2, Olivier Thébaud 1, Alistair J. Hobday 2, James Innes 1, Lilly Lim-Camacho 1, Ana Norman-López 1, Rodrigo H. Bustamante 1, Anna Farmery 3, Aysha Fleming 2, Stewart Frusher 3, Bridget Green 3, Eriko Hoshino 3, Sarah Jennings 3, Gretta Pecl 3, Sean Pascoe 1, Peggy Schrobback 4, Linda Thomas 2


Supply chains describe the multitude of processes and activities that connect products and services with consumers [1]. Rather than being linear, supply chains typically take the form of networks of nodes with upstream and downstream linkages, analogous to ecological networks that describe the flow of biological matter from primary producers to top predators. Empirically, supply networks [2] vary depending on the number of components (i.e. processes and activities) and how vertically integrated they are (fewer steps in the chain indicate a more vertically integrated supply chain), how many product forms are supplied to consumers and the number of markets supplied. As is often the case, we use the terms supply chain and supply network interchangeably. Supply chains generally refer to a simpler, linear system with a unidirectional flow of goods or services, while supply networks generally involve a more complex chain with lateral links, reverse loops and two way exchanges. Systematic methods for describing supply chains can assist in understanding and comparing network properties, as well as identifying strengths and weaknesses in supply chains [3]. In the first instance, most supply chains can be organised into typical components comprising primary production, processing, storage and transport, marketing (wholesale and retail) and the final consumer. Whole of network methods and simple metrics can be used to analyse individual chains and facilitate cross-comparisons with other systems. In particular, identification of key elements along the supply chain may assist in informing adaptation strategies to reduce anticipated future risks posed by climate change [4].

Prices are commonly used in the economic literature to describe relationships along the supply chain as the key interest lies in understanding how price changes due to supply and demand shocks at one level of the supply chain (e.g. production) are transmitted to other levels (e.g. wholesale, retail, final consumption). For example, the price transmission literature has largely focused on how asymmetry in price movements along the chain reflects differences in market power and/or differing ability to adjust to change [5], with analysis of marketing margins along the supply chain also used to provide information on market power [6], [7]. The market integration literature also uses prices to consider the degree of price transmission at different levels in the supply chain and across supply chains (i.e. by considering potentially competing products) [8], [9], [10].

When quantities are available, demand models provide additional information on the inter-relation between prices and quantities in markets as well as the effect that changes in consumer incomes, exchange rate, population and other factors can have on demand [11], [12], [13]. Hobday et al. [14] have built inverse demand models within a spatial equilibrium framework [15], [16]...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A478762975