From farm to fork: Direct supply chain relationships in the hospitality industry in the south east of Ireland

Ivor O'Donovan, Tony Quinlan, Tony Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper seeks to explore the attitudes and behaviour of the hospitality sector, in the south east of Ireland, with regard to direct selling relationships with primary food suppliers. The paper also presents the motivations and challenges for hospitality practitioners in developing and maintaining direct relationships with primary suppliers. Design/methodology/approach: In order to enable the collection of information about both behaviour and attitudes in regard to direct supply relationships, a multi-stage survey approach is used. This involves a questionnaire followed by a structured focus group; this dual approach seeks to provide opportunity for a richer dataset and also enables some triangulation of data so as to optimise the validity and reliability of the study. Findings: The paper gives an initial picture of the level and types of supply relationships in the hospitality sector and makes clear that there is scope for a more strategic approach to supply chain management across the sector. The evidence from this study gives support to the assertion that there are strong social, economic, organisational and market rationales for a more concerted effort to promote higher levels of direct supply chain relationships in the hospitality sector. Research limitations/implications: The study is exploratory in nature and uses a relatively small sample to identify the benefits and challenges. Practical implications: The study aims to provide guidance and recommendations for industry stakeholders as to the benefits of direct supply relationships. Originality/value: This study is the first of its type to look at the practice and attitudes of hospitality providers towards direct supply relationships with primary food suppliers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-515
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Buyer-seller relationships
  • Catering industry
  • Food policy
  • Hospitality industry
  • Ireland
  • Supply chain


Dive into the research topics of 'From farm to fork: Direct supply chain relationships in the hospitality industry in the south east of Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this