21 Maret 2011

Perceptions of Supply Chain Management for Perishable Horticultural Crops: an Introduction

Perceptions of Supply Chain Management for Perishable Horticultural
Crops: an Introduction

Errol W. Hewett
Chair ISHS Quality and Postharvest Commission
Institute for Food, Nutrition and Human Health
Massey University, Albany Campus
Private Bag 102 904, North Shore Mail Centre
Auckland, New Zealand

Keywords: fruits and vegetables; supply chain; management; logistics; quality; kiwifruit;
apples; apricots; consumer satisfaction.

To ensure that the highest and appropriate quality of product is available for
consumers, it is critically important that all parties involved in the production,
packing, storage, transport, distribution and marketing of fresh fruits and
vegetables do everything correctly in the chain from farm to plate. Over the past
decade a major transformation has occurred in the way firms undertake business.
Those that understand how the supply chain can be optimised and logistic processes
can be improved have obtained enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty, lower
costs and improved market share and profitability. Supply chain management
[SCM] has become a key business process; adopting key principles of developing
strategic alliances; optimising organisational structures; developing the human
resource to embrace the corporate vision and commitment to excellence; continually
improving tools available in information technology have all had a major impact on
company success. Can such principles be applied to the fresh fruit and vegetable
industry that tends to be characterised by large numbers of small growers in
dispersed locations with disparate products of variable quality, and who exist in an
environment of mistrust and dubious loyalties? Examples from New Zealand of
success (ZESPRI International Ltd) and opportunity (the stone fruit industry) are
used to demonstrate some of the difficulties that must be overcome to bring about
necessary changes in the chain. It is suggested that those sectors that do not
implement appropriate SCM systems run a real risk of failure in the foreseeable

On behalf of the President of the International Society for Horticultural Science
(ISHS), Dr Norman Looney, and the ISHS Board, I welcome you all to this the third
meeting of your international, multidisciplinary group concerned with fruit and vegetable
As Chair of the Quality and Postharvest Commission I am delighted that you
decided to bring your meeting into the ISHS fold. We are a cross commodity Commission
with more than 200 members who have interests in fruit and vegetable quality from
orchard to plate, from physiology to pathology and from molecular biology to modeling.
It is hoped that this meeting will become a regular part of our postharvest series, joining
general postharvest horticulture, Controlled Atmosphere Storage, Postharvest Unlimited
(which had its first meeting in 2002), and Model-It, each of which has a meeting every 3-
4 years. Our Commission now sponsors at least one major international Postharvest
Symposium each year.
I would encourage you to become a Working Group within the Quality and
Postharvest Commission. Working Groups are the heart of the ISHS. They are made up of
keen, enthusiastic and committed individuals from a diverse range of professional
backgrounds, who want to organise regular symposia on their specialised field of interest.
I want to encourage the multidisciplinary activities of our Commission and build up

Proc. Int. Conf. Quality in Chains
Eds. Tijskens & Vollebregt 37
Acta Hort. 604, ISHS 2003

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