chapter  13
20 Pages

Building inclusive value chains in biotrade: A comparison of two cases from South America: Roldan Muradian, Gerard Verschoor, Edgar Bolivar and German Ochoa

Zapotillo (Loja Province). In the first case, a sauce made of Amazonian chilli peppers and fruits is bought by large supermarket chains in the capital city (Bogota). In the latter case, essential oil extracted from the fruit is procured by a large Brazilian cosmetic firm. In order to comprehensively interpret the development and performance of these networks, throughout the chapter we contrast theoretical perspectives highlighting economic and innovation aspects with socio-cultural concerns. We argue that such integration of theoretical perspectives enables us to take into consideration tensions, synergies and contradictions between the market logic and dynamic, on one hand, and local socio-cultural practices, meanings and values, on the other. Hence, while drawing lessons from concrete cases, the chapter contributes to the theoretical discussion on the social and economic construction of (inclusive) value chains. Furthermore, it examines how the relationship between the different domains conditions stakeholders’ behaviours and interactions, which ultimately affects the performance of the system as a whole. After this introductory section, section 13.2 presents the theoretical approaches from which we derive the main elements for interpreting the cases. Section 13.3 then combines the description of the case studies with their analysis and interpretation. The chapter finishes with some concluding remarks about the new theoretical tools offered by integrating economic/innovation and socio-cultural perspectives for understanding value chain development processes.