SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AND GLOBAL TRADE IN HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS

D. Hughes
The raison d'être of the global food industry is to satisfy the increasingly evolving requirements of global consumers. Consumer mega-trends include: demographic changes; concerns about safety, health, well-being and nutrition; and an inexorable search for convenience, particularly in urban markets. Across the globe, starting in developed and migrating to emerging countries, the growth of supermarket retailing is a principal link between the food industry and its consumers. A relatively few, sophisticated international retailers are establishing businesses in both geographic hemispheres and, in doing so, are transforming the nature and operations of international supply chains. The implications of international horticultural supply chains being transformed from "supply push" to "demand pull" are profound for all stakeholders, including farmers, exporters and importers, and the international R&D community. Commodity markets are fragmenting into specific consumer segments. The R&D focus is shifting from input traits (e.g. yield, disease resistance) to consumer-led output traits (e.g. taste, size, shape), and is becoming an increasingly private sector function. The challenge is to identify and commercialize product attributes that consumers value and will pay a premium. Those businesses capturing the intellectual property associated with value-added products will take the lion’s share of the consumer’s dollar. The trend towards "privatization" of R&D will cause current supply chains which are open and commodity orientated to become closed, with exclusive providers of genetics linking with specific producers, exporters, importers and retailers. The horticultural industry will come under increasing price pressure in the future, as fewer, larger businesses control access to the higher income consumers. However, competition will evolve from solely price-based competition to innovation-based competition (comprising innovation in products, processes, and in services). Successful horticultural businesses around the world will seek to build trust and longer-term commercial relationships with those who have "the ear" of the consumer, bringing in an era of interdependence, rather than independence.
Hughes, D. (2007). SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AND GLOBAL TRADE IN HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS. Acta Hortic. 762, 25-30
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.2
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.2
shopper and consumer understanding, supply chain management, retail buying power, partnerships
English

Acta Horticulturae