Genetically Modified Food Donations and the Cost of Neutrality: Logistics Response to the 2002 Food Crisis in Southern Africa

Published 03 Jan 2004
Reference 5169
Topic Operations
Region Global
Summary

Set during the 2002 Southern Africa food crisis the case describes the design and implementation of a humanitarian logistics operation for the distribution of food donations in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). This complex operation affected by severe droughts, economic downturn, poor access to recipients and the HIV pandemic, takes an unexpected turn when Zambia rejects the donations upon finding traces of genetically modified organisms (GMO). This forces agencies to redesign their assistance strategy and challenges the ongoing plans with new bottlenecks, costs, and delays. In the end the operations succeeds in light of the coordination support provided by the implementing agency, World Food Program (WFP).

Teaching objectives

The case aims to: To discuss the differences between supply chain management in for-profit and humanitarian organizations, and more specifically, the need for agility in supply chain management. To analyze the concept of humanitarian space and principles, i.e. the difficult balancing acts to accomplish a mission while constantly interacting with governments and private sectors. To unravel the ethical issues involved in distributing or offering genetically modified food.

Keywords
  • Humanitarian operations
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Supply chain logistics
  • Ethical donations
  • Food aid rejection
  • SUMA
  • Food distribution. AR2004
  • AR0304
  • RD0304