Collaborations and sustainability in medicinal and aromatic plants industry: examining the business communication amongst stakeholders in maps industry
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The aim of this study is to examine collaborative actions and sustainability in the medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) industry. A lot of attention was given to the MAPs industry actors and foreign direct investments. Undoubtedly, the development trend of MAPs industry is tightly associated with the supply sources of farmers and gatherers. Overproduction of MAPs products including organic and cultivated products is very much damaging the biodiversity, food industry and environment. The overlapping of common mission, vision and objectives of industrial partners and stakeholders are quite crucial to overcome industrial, environmental and quality issues. The market share of MAPs products has become harshly competitive. Governmental bodies also have some sectoral plans for cultivation of products and intervention to the whole sector. ‘Business – academia – society’ relationships were argued in order to highlight to what extent scientific investigations and research projects in the MAPs industry can be effective for structuring network database of the whole farmers and gatherers' information, taking the MAPs industry under the control of State's mechanism (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture) through public sector – private sector – civil society collaborations (i.e. agricultural hybridity). Direct contacts and strong ties of corporations with Ministry of Agriculture may influence more flexibly to draw a direction of the herbs and spices industry in general and MAPs products trading in particular. Local stakeholders’ engagement and agricultural hybridity are likely to strengthen local villagers and gatherers for combating poverty, ensuring more prosperity, cleaner environment and sustainable development, as well as providing mutual benefits and reciprocal strategic interests in frame of universal business ethics. Moreover, setting up long-range partnerships and cooperation with foreign partners as stakeholders and interest groups of the aggregate production and marketing process affect the sustainability of MAPs industry, significantly. From the corporations’ perspective, the main objectives of foreign corporations are as follows: i) bringing the MAPs products in traceability whereby these can be sourced directly from farmers and gatherers through local partners; ii) identifying suppliers who have the necessary cleaning lines with the capability to meet the raw material specifications; iii) in the long run working with local suppliers for establishing grinding facilities to provide the finished products. In this study, case study research and semi-structured interviews were followed in the context of paradigmatic research methodology. The authors assured that the replies of the corporations’ representatives were kept confidential. Likewise, the corporations’ affiliations were coded in order to undertake the investigation with ethical beliefs and moral conducts.