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Ismatov, Alisher, 2015. The sustainability implications of "product take-back clause" insupplier/retailer interface : case study: Swedish bread industry. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics



Food waste consumes resources, has a negative effect on the environment and leads to monetary losses for the
supply chain participants. One of the ways to address food waste is to reconsider the supply chain´s linear
process and implement the reverse supply chain. Many researchers consider reverse supply chain to be
sustainable and value adding. Yet some studies mention that in supplier-retailer interface in the context of food
industries, reverse supply chains with take-back clause might be exposed to retailers’ market power abuse and
cause overproduction and waste. This study used the qualitative approach to explore implications of power
relations in retailer-supplier interface on take-back practice by looking at the case of Swedish bread suppliers.
All major bread suppliers that have take-back agreement along with retailer chains, representing all retailer
corporate ownership groups in Sweden have been interviewed. Using the theory of market power and reverse
supply chain sustainability, the study analyzed the implications of power-relations on the take-back practice and
explored sustainability concerns and/or fixtures it poses for the supply chain. The study findings do not fully
confirm with conclusions of previous research arguing that reverse supply logistics systems serve as additional
incentive for powerful retailers to over-order or lead to higher waste due to inability of suppliers to properly
dispose of waste. Yet other instances of retailer’s market power that have not been touched upon in previous
research were found within studied take-back agreement. The specific terms of agreement resulting from power
asymmetries were found to still cause over-ordering and other negative effects on the overall sustainability of
bread supply chains. The sustainability breaches identified in the study are mainly connected with lack of
retailer’s economic incentive to reduce the amount of unsold bread, which becomes the source of
overproduction, and leads to economic, environmental and social costs.

Main title:The sustainability implications of "product take-back clause" insupplier/retailer interface
Subtitle:case study: Swedish bread industry
Authors:Ismatov, Alisher
Supervisor:Kokko, Suvi and Karantininis, Konstantinos
Examiner:Hakelius, Karin
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:916
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM002 Agricultural Economics and Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:take-back clause/practice/agreement, sustainable reverse supply chains food waste, market power, three pillars of sustainability, Swedish bread industry
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Economics and management
Deposited On:22 Apr 2015 12:22
Metadata Last Modified:22 Apr 2015 12:22

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