In recent years, greater concerns with respect to diet and nutrition have led to an increased number of marketing and promotional messages focused on the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables. Both consumers and retailers have responded to the spotlight on fresh produce, resulting in increased purchases, marketing resources and even new legislation to promote Specialty Crop production in the US. Between 1987 and 2000, US per capita consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables rose 15%. Retailers have responded by increasing the size and range of produce sold, with the average number of items in fresh produce departments rising from 173 to 350 items between 1987 and 2001. The increased popularity of fresh produce represents considerable potential for enhanced marketing revenues to producers if they can recognize and harness opportunities emerging from changes in food purchases. Meanwhile, producers and consumers need to be informed about the emergence of new business strategies, regulations and policies that may influence their confidence in and competitiveness within this quickly innovating marketing sector. In recent years, increasing numbers of consumers have shown increased interest in foods produced in unique ways, including organic, local, pesticide free, Fair Trade or as functional foods. These individuals and households are also fueling changes in the food system as they seek to purchase their produce through channels as diverse as direct marketing and traditional supermarkets, and with expectations as broad as picking their own produce to highly branded products with 3rd party certifications. This evolution has led a higher number of farmers to consider new marketing strategies including farmers markets, joining a producer alliance, running a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), beginning their own value-added ventures or producing new crops and cultivars to gain access to specialty niche markets. Still, the majority of fresh produce is marketed through more conventional, large-scale wholesale and retail partners who are concerned about the efficiencies that such scales brings. And despite the belief that the fruit and vegetable segment of the food market is growing and healthy, little is known about the response of increasingly demanding consumers and food supply chain partners, the changing coordination and supply chain responses of fruit and vegetable enterprises or the response to regulations and policies developed to oversee and guide new innovations in this sector. The main objective of supply chain management is to minimize time and cost from supply chains, improving profitability and/or competitiveness which is possible through utilization of technological advancement such as computing hardware, software, and other current electronic technologies. In supply chain management systems everything from raw materials to finished product is produced on demand and delivered 'just in time' to the next stage of production.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/10 → 9/30/15|