Food supply chain coordination for growing items: A trade-off between market coverage and cost-efficiency

Nadia Pourmohammad-Zia, Behrooz Karimi, Jafar Rezaei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


The accurate operation of a Food Supply Chain (FSC) is a critical issue as it directly interfaces with health and safety matters. This study addresses coordination and conflict management in a three-level FSC that embraces a new inventory type known as growing items like poultry and livestock. The chain involves a rearing farm as the supplier, a processed food producer as the manufacturer, and multiple processed food retailers. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is applied by the manufacturer to handle the retailers' systems and prevent replenishment mismatches and thereby food waste. To increase its market coverage, the manufacturer needs to provide the retailers with enough incentives to enter this setting. So, a cost-sharing contract is designed under which the manufacturer undertakes a fraction of the retailers’ holding costs. Accordingly, the manufacturer faces two contradictory targets, increasing its market coverage by convincing the retailers to enter the system on the one hand and managing its costs efficiently on the other hand. An analytic solution approach with a game-theoretic perspective is developed to solve the model. Extensive numerical experiments and a case study are provided, presenting fruitful managerial insights that can be utilized by the policymakers and chain members under different settings. The results highlight the efficiency of our VMI and cost-sharing collaboration scheme in enhancing the performance of the chain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108289
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Coordination
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Food supply chain
  • Growth
  • Market coverage
  • Vendor managed inventory


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