Sustainability Efforts in New Zealand's Cheese Industry
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The recent scandals of New Zealand’s dairy industry have implications for the cheese industry. As consumer awareness about the sustainability of food production is on the rise, businesses have an obligation to respond. Sustainability is a holistic concept that combines environmental protection, social responsibility but also the economic success, and does not only concern a single company but the whole supply chain. Therefore, the cheese supply chain of New Zealand is the focus of this research as a growing industry that contributes significantly to New Zealand’s economy. A holistic consideration of the sustainability efforts of this particular supply chain has not yet been researched. This exploratory case study aims to identify the sustainability efforts within the cheese supply chain and compare practices with Elkington’s triple bottom line (1997), with consideration of sustainable supply chain management theories. The research approach integrated seven companies that were milk suppliers, cheese manufactures and distributors in New Zealand to provide a holistic summary of the practices and circumstances. Overall various practices for the enhancement of sustainability were identified and matched with the named theories, which demonstrated a lack of practicality through unrealistic assumptions. The case study allows practitioners in the cheese supply chain to compare their practices, while the findings aim to enhance the sustainability of their business. In addition, differences between the practical and academic world are acknowledged, which can be used to further improve the research about sustainability.