This research focuses on an Australian agribusiness supply chain, the Australian Beef Supply Chain. The definition of the Australian Beef Supply Chain is the chain or sequence of all activities from the breeding property to the domestic or overseas consumers. The beef sector in Australia is undergoing rapid change because of globalisation, a highly competitive beef market (local and export), quicker production cycle and delivery times and consequently reduced inventories, a general speed-up of the rate of change in the business environment, the trend toward more outsourcing of activities, and the rapid development of IT. In this business environment, advanced supply chain systems have the potential to provide significant contributions to Australian beef industry performance. A conceptual framework of the research project has been proposed. There are three elements of conceptual framework. Firstly, supply chain practice of Australian beef industry consists of five sub-elements such as strategic supplier partnerships, customer relationships, information sharing, information quality and a lean system. Moreover, there is an antecedent of cooperative behaviour such as trust and commitment influencing supply chain practice and supply chain performance indicators. Secondly, supply chain performance indicators include four sub-elements such as flexibility, efficiency, food quality and responsiveness. Finally, the competitive advantage framework of the Australian beef enterprises consists of price, quality, export sales growth and time to market. As a further step of the research after developing the conceptual framework, the research project focuses the analysis on how the antecedents of the sub-elements of supply chain practice affect supply chain performance in Australian beef enterprises, how trust and commitment in trading partners affect supply chain performance, how attributes such as flexibility, efficiency, food quality and responsiveness influence the sub-elements of competitive advantage. The research project leads on to further work on how Australian beef enterprises measure their supply chain performance and what the major difficulties are arising when implementing supply chain management in the Australian beef industry and what kind of changes can be made to beef supply chains to enhance their performance.


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