The need for integration in the supply chain of vegetable production

Lise Christina Deleuran, Erling Jelsøe, Birte Boelt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch


    One of the challenges in food production is to ensure sufficient food and feed globally. In order to overcome food shortages there is a current need for a better integration in the supply chain of food production and inclusion of an overlooked issue in many supply chains - the availability of quality seed. Quality seed also creates the base for quality products which is of increasing interest for the conscious consumers. In all, varying reasons for looking further into how supply chains function.

    The supply chain within vegetables is represented by seed producers, seed companies, salad/vegetable producers, retailers/supermarkets and consumers. The various actors of the chain, as well as external actors like media, regulators and politicians, influence product quality from different points of view. Economic factors play a significant role for quality management. Furthermore, the concept of quality comprise several dimensions, such as freshness, taste, texture and appearance, and increasingly quality dimensions that are associated with the origin of the product and the way food products have been produced have gained importance, at least to some segments of consumers.

    In this situation the origin and quality of the seed might be an additional factor of significance for maintaining and improving the quality of vegetable products. Therefore, it will also be interesting to know, whether it could be important for consumers' quality perceptions. More generally, it will be still more important to manage and communicate quality throughout the chain and to consider how feed-back loops between the actors can be strengthened.  At present, the seed producers produce on contract for the companies, who sell and distribute the seeds to the vegetable producers. There is no link or connection between the seed producer and the vegetable producers, the retailers/supermarkets and the consumers. All actors in the chain only communicate one link back and forth.

    Vegetable products such as the baby-leafs are often labelled with origin but what information is essential for the consumer? There are many unanswered questions. Are consumers interested in the origin of the product? Are they interested to know where the seeds come from or if they are organic or maybe genetically modified? Are they aware of the quality of the product they consume?

    Based on the considerations presented above, we have initiated a research project with the aim of looking further into how all actors in the supply chain interact and how communication and feed-back loops between the actors can be strengthened.

    At present cooperation with the industry has been established and quality perceptions mainly within seed production and vegetable production has been explored through interviews. Preliminary results on the technical quality dimensions are currently being assessed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationVegetable Production, Quality and Process Standardization in Chain: a Worldwide Perspective
    Number of pages1
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventVegetable Production, Quality and Process Standardization in China: a Worldwide Perspective (Vege2008Beijing) - Beijing, China
    Duration: 14 Oct 200817 Oct 2008


    ConferenceVegetable Production, Quality and Process Standardization in China: a Worldwide Perspective (Vege2008Beijing)


    • seed production
    • seed quality
    • vegetable production
    • quality perceptions in supply chains
    • consumer awaremess

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