USING A SUPPLY CHAIN APPROACH TO GUIDE R&D
Consumers today are presented with an increasing array of products. The growing competition for consumer expenditure requires a whole of supply chain approach to maintain market share for existing cultivars and to successfully commercialise new cultivars. The supply chain needs to deliver value and satisfaction to the end customer and profitability to their members. Critical to getting the product right is developing inherent robustness into the cultivar, and developing processes and systems through the whole supply chain that maintain product quality and add value. This paper describes the approach we have used in working with supply chains in Australia and Indonesia to identify priority areas for improvement. Our experience demonstrates the need for a champion in the supply chain with significant influence and a desire to improve. The paper also describes our approach towards improving a specific supply chain to achieve successful commercialisation of a new cultivar. The cultivar was primarily selected for good production characteristics and attractive visual appeal. The performance of the fruit is being monitored from farm to retail shelf to identify points where quality is lost and practices can be improved. A targeted R&D program is investigating ways of improving production efficiency (nutrition, flowering and canopy management), maturity standards to optimise flavour, harvesting and packing practices to reduce skin damage, and ripening and handling practices to optimise shelf life. This integrated approach is based on similar approaches used to improve the performance of existing mango and avocado cultivars.
Hofman, P.J. and Ledger, S.N. (2006). USING A SUPPLY CHAIN APPROACH TO GUIDE R&D. Acta Hortic. 699, 219-226
mango, cultivars, supply chains, quality, monitoring