Collaboration and Trust Building Among Public and Private Actors
Using data from the I-Choose project, a study of coffee produced in Mexico and distributed and sold in Canada and the United States, this chapter analyzes three distinct traceability systems in relation to the ways in which each attempts to build and sustain trust. In each case, supply chain actors are working together to capture information about how and where their products are produced, aiming to provide this information to consumers. The ultimate goal in each system is the same: to demonstrate the quality of their product and earn a price premium. We find that institutional, calculative, and relational trust are used in different ways in each of the three systems, with distinct variations over time. Extrapolating from these cases, we find that providing consumers with sustainable supply chain information evolves dynamically over time with calculative trust less permanent and relational trust more permanent. Institutional trust appears to be the best way to communicate with consumers in international marketplaces.
KeywordsTrust Provenance User confidence Information assurance Social computing Customer-oriented systems
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