QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN TOMATO SUPPLY CHAINS IN CAMBODIA
Quality management of tomato for the wet market (traditional supply chain) and supermarket (modern supply chain) in Cambodia were assessed to document good practices and develop specific handling improvements for improved product quality and marketability. Farmers, collectors, wholesalers and retailers were interviewed using a pre-tested survey questionnaire. In the traditional supply chain, farmers harvested tomatoes based on color, either at the breaker or ripe stage depending on market demand. The fruit were then sorted and packed in polyethylene plastic bags with 15-25 kg capacity. Collectors and contract buyers collected the bags of fruit at the farm and stacked them one on top of the other in the cargo load of a mini-truck or in the trailer of a motorbike for transport to wholesalers in a Phnom Penh wholesale market. The fruit were re-sorted and packed in plastic crates for distribution to retailers. Similar practices were employed for tomatoes destined for supermarkets, with the collector-wholesaler doing the distribution of collected packages of tomato from the farm to the supermarket. In another modern supply chain initiated by a development partner, farmers brought the fruit to a packinghouse facility where sorting, grading, weighing and packing were done. The packs of produce were cooled in ice and transported to a distribution center in Phnom Penh for delivery to supermarkets. Most constraints to quality management are technological in nature, such as deficiencies in packaging, transport and storage as well as poor product quality and inability to sell all produce. Supply chain actors seemed to be resigned to the situation as they believed that nothing can be done to change the situation.
Buntong, B., Srilaong, V., Wasusri, T., Acedo Jr., A. and Kanlayanarat, S. (2012). QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN TOMATO SUPPLY CHAINS IN CAMBODIA. Acta Hortic. 943, 157-160
Solanum lycopersicum L., quality management, traditional and modern supply chains