In the horticultural fresh food supply chain network in the Netherlands, a crisis is emerging. The market is out of balance and many growers are facing bankruptcy, in the period of 2011–2013, 50% of the growers were not able to pay interest and redemption. Trust between participants in the supply chain network has decreased. This chapter presents the currently not established and identifies design requirements for new systems to address this challenge and provide directions for possible improvement. As a result, this chapter introduces the concept of SamenMarkt®, a participatory system in which multi-agent system technology enables distributed price negotiation, distribution and communication between producers, retailers and consumers. A SWOT analysis of the concept of SamenMarkt® is provided together with a research and development plan in which simulation and emulation create the basis for stakeholder- and participant involvement in the design process of a distributed digital market place. Further research aims to study how SamenMarkt® can provide a solution space for the emerging global food crises. At present, we are using agent-based modelling to simulate the present market and scenarios. The next step will be to build the actual agent-based platform for real-time negotiations and business intelligence.
Part of the book: Agricultural Value Chain