Supply explanation of the various responsibilities and roles

Supply chain is basically the organization of all the procedures, systems, activities, individuals, and organizations that are involved in the bringing of a product from the supply point to the customer point of consumption. These process at times involves the value addition or just movement of the product form the source to the market where it is to be consumed (Lewin et al.). There are several activities and parties involved in the supply chain and each of these parties have their roles and duties that all add up to the success of the supply chain in general. In the case of coffee, it is basically a drink that is obtained from dried and roasted coffee beans and it comes in various tastes and brands depending on the process that it undergoes at the same time (Lewin et al.). It is therefore important to understand the various parties that are involved in this process and their roles or activities. Ethics is one of the basic considerations or requirements in the process of achieving success in the supply chain. A relationship at the same time is supposed to be established between these parties to ensure a smooth flow of the product and services at the same time from one point to the next. This paper therefore seeks to explain the coffee supply chain in detail alongside the explanation of the various responsibilities and roles of the various parties that are involved in the supply chain. As a business philosophy, every party has his own interest to meet in the supply chain which is basically the need to make profits. Therefore, despite the need for profits, there is need to observe the economic and other business implications to achieve the set goals. The coffee supply chain starts with the farmers of the coffee beans in the various parts of the world. Coffee is one of the scarce commodities that is in limited supply and its nature of seasonal productivity increased the demand for the beans when the productive season is past. During the high season, there is low prices on the coffee beans which causes no change in the prices of the product which are the roasted coffee beans ready for consumption (Dowding and Murphy). The coffee chain in the other hand varies in the various countries due to different economic conditions and government structures but there are some common supply chain structures that are common across the board. The farmers or growers do coffee farming in different levels which means that there are small scale growers and large-scale growers at the same time. The growers cultivate and handle all the production of the raw coffee beans and they are at times involved in the drying and hulling of the coffee beans before they are sold to the next party in the chain. As the first-hand handlers and growers of coffee, they determine the quality in that poor growing will result to poor quality and good growing skills will result to goo quality (Dowding and Murphy). The next level of the supply chain are the intermediaries who buy the coffee beans from the growers which can be raw or dried at the same time. The intermediaries add value to the product in that they can dry the coffee beans which have not been dried. Further, the intermediaries carry out activities like sorting and grading of the coffee beans according to the quality that they receive from the farmers. The intermediaries assist the farmers in looking for better market prices or buy the coffee beans from the growers and resell it to the next level party in the supply chain. In most countries, the intermediaries are community based organizations or business organizations that have a specific identified market to which they sell the coffee beans to (supply chain management of coffee and cafe coffee day: Indian Coffee). The number of intermediaries can be one or as many as they can be exhausted along the chain before they sell the product to the processor. They can at the same time obtain green berries from the farmers for value addition or dried coffee beans for further processing. The processing done by the intermediaries does not guarantee consumption thus they resale the product to the processors who carry out further value addition. Processors make the next level of the chain in that the processor can be a single farmer who harvest the beans from their plantations, processes them in their own premises or by use of proxy processors and obtain the product. Individual farmers thus form part of the processors when they have the capability to carry out the activities that are required by a processor. Cooperative societies in various countries form part of the processors in that they can pool resources to obtain the machines that are required for processing and adding value to the coffee beans (Jiogo). The other party in the supply chain are the government agencies. The government comes in by controlling the market of coffee in that it can buy directly from the farmers or from the processors at a given fixed price. This is to ensure that the farmers are not exploited with the market dynamics in various countries which show high fluctuations during the high harvest seasons of the coffee beans. The government at the same time does further roles like resale of the coffee beans to the auctioneers or exporting to other countries as a raw material or as a finished product from the processors or the farmers. Since single farmers cannot have control of the international market, it is considered ethical for a country to regulate these challenges by buying from the processors or farmers and then selling it as a country and not as an individual (Dowding and Murphy). Exporters at the same time make part of the supply chain in that they are responsible for the role of buying from the auctioneer, the government or the processors and shipping the product to the various market where the demand is high. This is expected to obtain a huge market for the same product since the exporters have a good grasp of the market dynamics and what is required. The exporter thus supplies the product to the dealer or brokers who thus form the next part of the supply chain. The dealers supply the product to the roasters at a price that is agreeable between the buyer and the seller at the same time (Lewin et al.). In this case, there are increased margins on the pricing levels but supply is made at the right time and the required quantities are also supplied. The roasters make the end of the supply chain in that they produce a product that is ready for consumption (Dowding and Murphy). The roasters in this case are the end parties that add the final value to the product and release it the market after branding, packaging, and carrying out marketing activities. They therefore sell the product to the retailers who can be hotels, super stores, and other points of sale that consumers can obtain the end product for drinking. 

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