Documenting entrepreneurial opportunism in action

  • A case study of sheep theft in the UK from a food supply chain perspective
  • Robert Smith
  • British Food Journal, January 2017, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/bfj-07-2016-0324

What is it about?

Food supply chain integrity is important and particularly the integrity of the people involved in the chain. This article examines supply chain integrity in relation to the theft of sheep in the UK to examine entrepreneurial opportunism and industry insider involvement in the supply chain. A contemporary typology of rustlers is developed.

Why is it important?

This publication is important because it highlights a contemporary social issue which has been neglected by other scholars, namely sheep theft. To the best of the authors knowledge this is the only publication relating to theft of sheep in the UK as a supply chain perspective. It is also of interest because it tackles the issue from a supply chain and business perspective and not purely a criminological one. The study documents the phenomenon from newspaper and internet sources and provides worked examples of criminal entrepreneurship. The study provides a starting point for interested scholars and practitioners alike. It should be of interest to police and other agencies responsible for interdicting such crime.


Professor Robert Smith
University of the West of Scotland

This publication is one of a continuing stream by the author into rural criminal entrepreneurship.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Robert Smith