Buyer-Supplier Relationship in the Food Industry
Taiwan was renowned as a paradise for food lovers; however, in the past couple years, a series of food scandals, such as gutter oil, adulterated olive oil and tainted starch, has tarnished this reputation. Although the government has claimed that it would amend food safety standards and impose harsher penalties for food safety violations, the outcome is still rather unsatisfactory. Many firms, from small bakeries and restaurants to large-scale prestigious food chains and manufacturers, had acquired and used the tainted materials in manufacturing their products, and recalls of these final products had resulted in tremendous amounts of financial and reputation losses, not to say the potential health risks to consumers. To confront food safety crises, firms in the food industry need to reconsider their outsourcing strategies, for example, whether they should produce their materials in house or maintain some kind of cooperation with suppliers. Since a reliable buyer-supplier relationship can ensure the success of products in different aspects such as product quality, delivery, and cost, the selection of the most appropriate buyer-supplier relationship for certain materials is essential. A model, by applying fuzzy analytic network process (FANP), interpretive structural modeling (ISM), and the benefits, opportunities, costs and risks (BOCR) concept,is constructed to determine the interrelationship among the evaluation criteria and to evaluate the effectiveness of different forms of buyer-seller relationships. A performance ranking of the buyer-supplier types can then be obtained.
Keywords� Food Industry, Food Safety; Buyer-Supplier Relationship; Fuzzy Analytic Network Process (FANP), Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM).