CABBAGE QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN DOMESTIC AND EXPORT SUPPLY CHAINS IN LAO PDR
Quality management in the supply chain of cabbages produced in Pakxong District, Champasak Province, Lao PDR, for domestic market (Vientiane City, about 750 km away) and for export (Ubon Lathsathani, Thailand, about 190 km away) were examined using pre-tested survey questionnaire, with respondents comprising of 30 farmers, 10 collectors, 10 retailers and 5 Thai collector-wholesaler-retailers. For both supply chains, farmers harvested the cabbages based on firmness, time period elapsed from planting or their combination, but usually 3-4 days after the cabbages had reached optimum maturity. Trimming, sorting, packing, storage and transport were usual postharvest operations but differed with supply chain. In the domestic supply chain, these operations were usually performed by all actors. Good quality management practices included trimming of outer leaves and butt of the cabbage head, draining water from the internal part of the head, sorting based on size and freedom from insect pest damage and physical injuries, packing in 0.05 mm-thick high density polyethylene plastic bags which is a form of modified atmosphere packaging, and covering the load with plastic sheet thereby protecting the produce from rain and sunlight during transport. In the export supply chain, these postharvest operations were performed only by the Thai collector-wholesaler-retailers while only transport of unpacked cabbages was performed by Lao farmers and collectors. Major concerns included loose handling, trimming all outer or wrapper leaves leaving no protection to the cabbage head, physical damage consequent of inability of plastic bags to protect the produce from handling hazards, and lack of appropriate transport facilities and techniques. In addition, no special storage facility was employed at all chain stages and if practiced, storage was done only at ambient to wait for transport or retail. Similarly, no special treatment, particularly bacterial soft rot control treatment was practiced for being unknown to all supply chain actors. Major factors that drive the adoption of good practices in managing cabbage quality included stable and high selling price and ready market for supply chain actors in Lao PDR and product quality for Thailand importers.
Chanthasombath, T., Srilaong, V., Wasusri, T., Acedo Jr., A. and Kanlayanarat, S. (2012). CABBAGE QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN DOMESTIC AND EXPORT SUPPLY CHAINS IN LAO PDR. Acta Hortic. 943, 161-167
Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata, quality management, domestic and export supply chains