Suppliers and retailers of perishable agricultural food products often find it challenging to cope up with their supply chain. The apples that were expected to be in stores for longer might run out of stock soon and the bananas that were projected to be sold fast might discolor due to their longer stay on the store racks than anticipated. Miscalculation of demand, shelf-life or processing and transportation may be the reasons for this. Like all perishable foods, apples would have been transported through cold chain from a longer distance and unless to a point of remote access, the bananas would have arrived from a shorter distance. Hence, there are a few considerations to be made while working on supply chain.
Complex series of harvest, packing, shipping and holding facilities are involved in preserving vegetables, fruits and meat for days or weeks longer before the customer picks them up from retail stores. The shelf life starts ticking right from the harvest.
Few tips for achieving efficacy in a perishable supply chain are mentioned below:
• Agribusiness players can work on enlarging their consumer base through expansion. Expansion could be into various channels of selling or expanding the expanse of serviceability. Retailers can venture into “click to buy” and online modes while the distributors can eye at extensive marketing to enlarge the number of retail outlets falling under its purview.
• Ways to reduce the cost of produce need to be worked out. Numbers play a major role here. Larger the number of products sold, lesser is the margin required making profits, which will reflect in price for the customer. Implementing outbound marketing strategy can help gain the supply deals from majority of retailers who fall under a workable proximity.
• Product differentiation according to source, quality and adopting a differential price strategy can elevate product sales. Food processors depend on the farm produce grown by a large number of small farmers. That essentially means that the data source will be in pieces. Cloud based mobile compatible software like Rain +Grow marks the fragmented farm boundaries. And then everything related to that piece of farm, be it soil related information to farm inputs used or yields obtained and the grading information, are all recorded with nothing amiss. This eases processing, sorting and packaging of agricultural produce.