Title: Accessing marketing channels in emerging markets: the case of small-scale cooperatives in central Mexico

Authors: Julie V. Stanton

Addresses: Department of Business, The Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine Campus, 25 Yearsley Mill Rd., Media, PA 19063, USA

Abstract: Small-scale producers in emerging markets have a particularly difficult time accessing the same marketing channels which are available to their larger counterparts. Cooperatives are an oft-recommended solution, allowing members to collectively mimic the advantages of larger producers. In this study, we explore whether or not cooperatives in Mexico demonstrate these expectations. Using depth interviews of seven farm and non-farm rural cooperatives, we find that participation in export channels is extremely limited and that the patterns of market access can be explained in part by differences in vision, quality of leadership, and cultural influences. Leaders are also generally underprepared for the business environment which they attempt to access, suggesting that educational initiatives which build business capacity be developed. Foreign buyers attempting to work with cooperatives (and possibly other small businesses) in emerging markets ought to account for the different foundations and expectations of their transaction partners.

Keywords: agriculture; agricultural cooperatives; government support; Mexico; leadership; agricultural development; cultural factors; small farmers; export channels; marketing channels; farming; farms; farm cooperatives; non-farm cooperatives; rural cooperatives; market access; access patterns; vision; cultural influences; leaders; educational initiatives; business capacity; foreign buyers; expectations; transaction partners; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; business foundations; emerging markets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2012.044317

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2012 Vol.4 No.1, pp.28 - 48

Published online: 01 Dec 2011 *

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