Contemporary Supply Chain Management.
In the case chocolate the end user is the customer. So supply chain management of chocolate is the management of the process of buying of raw materials, transportation, and processing, packing and delivering chocolate to the customer. Supply chain management can also be described as the flow of Goods or services from suppliers to the manufacturers then to the distributors and retailers and finally to the customers. Supply chain management entails production, distribution, purchasing, customer management, materials management and supplier management.
The supply chain for chocolate mainly starts with the farmers who grow cocoa. Normally these are normally small scale farmers who grow the plant in order for them and their families to earn a living. However, there are companies like rainforest alliance certified cocoa (RACC) that produce cocoa in large scale. When ripe pods containing cocoa beans are harvested and the cocoa beans are dried and fermented, (Beckett, 2011). This is the first stage of the supply chain.
This is the second stage in the supply chain of chocolate. This is where one finds brokers and intermediaries linking the farmers who are the producers and the next stage of the supply chain. Transportation also occurs at this stage of the supply chain. These brokers buy the cocoa beans from the small scale farmers and later sell the cocoa beans collectively to cocoa processing companies. In cases where companies do large scale farming and production of cocoa, these part of the supply chain of chocolate is not left upon the intermediaries (brokers), but it is done by the companies who own the large acres of cocoa. Some companies sell the cocoa directly to the processing companies while others who have processing plants simply transport the raw material to their factories for processing
Processing is the next stage of the supply chain of chocolate