Supermarket giant Asda is aiming to improve “fragmented” supply chains by forging closer links with downstream suppliers, such as plant breeders and agrochemical companies.

Supermarkets had less engagement with input suppliers, the firm’s Chris Brown told delegates at the BCPC 2005 Congress in Glasgow.

But business planning would increasingly incorporate sharing information with downstream suppliers to increase the whole supply chain’s optimal performance.

Collaboration with an agchem company, for example, could involve developing specific decision support systems for use specifically with growers within their supply chain.

“If you’re optimising product performance, you’re building more efficiency, which gives me a competitive advantage,” he suggested.