Supply Chain of Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chain As the Indian population is increasing, the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables is also increasing. Owing to the perishable nature and very short shelf life, these items require storage and transportation facilities in order to reach to the customer in fresh state. This requires a considerable amount of effort from the involved parties. The entire chain is fraught with issues like lack of transparency in pricing (at the farmers’ end), dominance of traders, weak links in supply chain, etc.
This leads to loss of revenue to the farmer and increased additional costs to the other supply chain partners, which ultimately enforces the final consumer to bear extra burden on his pocket. Since organized retail has started showing interest in fresh fruit and vegetable markets and has already entered into the market with huge investments, the issues involved in this supply chain have changed dramatically and are influencing not only the supply chain partners but also the whole agriculture sector in India. India is witnessing rapid changes in retailing of fruits and vegetables.
Domestic market for both traditional and exotic fruits and vegetables is increasing. Indians spend more than 50% of income on food items-more of fruits and vegetables. But this industry is facing major challenges in the form of unavailability of fresh and quality fruits and vegetables, its supply chain suffers from maximum inefficiency and in spite of the fact that India is the 2nd largest producer of Fruits and vegetables it still face problems in easy procurement and supply. The Fruit and vegetable supply chain process
The supply chain of fruits and vegetables is a cluster formed with the participation of all stake holders such as farmers, seed growers, transporters, wholesalers, retailers etc. Information sharing is essential for generating the effeciencies The supply chain of fruits and vegetable is very simple to understand. The parties involved in the process includes- Farmers- who grow fruits and vegetable in their agricultural land and after cultivation sell them to agents/ wholesaler, who keep these food items in the cold storage as fruits and vegetables are perishable items and require special care.
From Wholesaler it moves towards retail stores which act as a major role as a distributor in the cities and towns. From these retail stores it reaches to the final consumer. Issues affecting the sector supply chain 1. In efficient trade facilitation and high transport costs 2. Limited market access (distribution channel for fresh produce) 3. No policy alignment the private sector priorities and business objectives 4.
Lack of infrastructure-such as warehouse, cold chain storage facilities etc Opportunities for improving the supply chain The following are some of the opportunities:- 1. Cold Chain Infrastructure:- investments in real estate and cold chain infrastructure are capital intensive and will yield slow returns. However, 100% FDI is allowed in this sector. The infrastructure consists of coolers, warehouses, Refrigerated trucks etc. 2.
Third Party Logistics:- the food supply chain is temperature sensitive and manual handling reduces the product quality and life. Logistics providers with air conditioned trucks, automatic handling equipments and trained manpower will provide end to end support 3. Retail:- Retail, one of the largest sectors in the global economy is going through a transition phase in India. One of the prime factors for non-competitiveness of the food processing industry is because of the cost and quality of marketing channels.