Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fresher, faster, fewer: the food supply chain

Food companies are using increased delivery frequencies, smaller orders and faster order cycle times to keep costs low while meeting their customers' and consumers' increasing demand for fresh food.

Some of the latest trends in the fresh fruit supply chain.
* Increased focus on freshness. This requires that fruits, vegetables and semi processed (ready to eat) salads must be presented to consumers in immaculate condition while maximising shelf life to avoid costly waste.
* Proliferation in fruit and vegetable product variety. Along with meeting increased demand for organic and imported specialty fruits and vegetables, retailers must be able to secure high quality local and imported products all year round. This requires wholesalers to act as both local agent and a value added sourcing specialists.
* Increased attention to maintaining the "cold chain".