n Agrekon - Contractual relationships between small-holder sugarcane growers and millers in the sugar industry supply chain in Swaziland

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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This paper proposes and analyses a model of relationships between smallholder sugarcane growers and millers in the Swaziland sugar industry supply chain. In particular, it identifies the behavioural factors that contribute to the level of satisfaction that sugarcane growers perceive in their relationship with the millers. Using recursive models and multiple regression analysis, the results indicate that higher levels of trust lead to higher levels of cooperation that, in turn, lead to higher levels of commitment by the smallholder growers to the business relationship. Cooperation is also an antecedent of the benefits and of the satisfaction that these growers gained from the relationship. These results agree with a priori theory that trust, cooperation, strategic benefits, commitment and absence of opportunistic behaviour are essential elements for a successful relational exchange. The findings imply that both cane growers and millers need to focus on initiating, signalling and disclosing their behaviours in an effort to improve their relationship with each other. A relationship founded on trust and mutual respect is more likely to succeed than a relationship of convenience supported by legal contingencies. Therefore, relationships characterised by trust and physical and psychological commitment as well as cooperation between exchange parties is more important for mutual benefit and good quality relationship.

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