Quality management essentials and the importance of smallholder farmers collaborating
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If smallholder farmers are to transact with modern institutional markets, they must first learn to collaborate. Collaboration provides a mechanism for smallholder farmers to improve their offer quality, ensuring that they have a sufficient quantity and range of product to meet the buyers' specifications. These product specifications are often highly variable, depending on the product itself, the manner in which the customer intends to use it and the quantity of product available in the market. However, in institutional markets, the quality construct itself is evolving, as more buyers seek assurances that the product is safe to eat and has been produced using sustainable and ethical production practices. Country-of-origin labelling and provenance are emerging as indicators of quality signaling superior quality attributes such as food safety, taste or a reduced carbon footprint. Changing consumer demands offer more opportunities for smallholder producers to augment the offer quality through innovative packaging and more convenient products.
The original publication is available at www.actahort.org
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