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Toward sustainable primary production through the application of lean management in South African fruit horticulture
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 15:56 authored by Darian Pearce, Manoj Dora, Joshua Wesana, Xavier Gellynck
This paper aims to understand the relationship between patterns of lean practice implementation, farm size and sustainable performance among fruit horticultural primary producers in South Africa. Utilizing a comprehensive lean framework, addressing 10 lean practice dimensions, the authors collected data from a sample of 132 fruit farming operations in South Africa. First, cluster analysis was applied to identify distinct clusters of farms with common lean practice implementation characteristics. Next, the distinct clusters were tested to identify significant differences in lean practice implementation and sustainable performance, with farm size incorporate as a control variable. In terms of common lean implementation characteristics, the analysis identified two distinct clusters of farms, labelled as the high lean practice cluster and the low lean practice cluster. It is determined that these two clusters differ significantly in practice implementation across all 10 dimension of lean management practice. It is further established that the two clusters differ significantly in terms of sustainable performance. Furthermore, farm size is found to significantly differentiate (i) lean practice implementation across 5 of the 10 lean practice dimensions and (ii) levels of sustainable performance between medium and large sized farms. This empirical analyses of lean practices and sustainable performance outcomes in the primary production domain represents a novel contribution to the existing literature on lean management and horticultural management.
Publication titleJournal of Cleaner Production