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SECTION III - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

SECTION III Quality maintenance and enhancement throughout the fresh fruits and vegetables chain The concept of quality applied to fresh fruits and vegetables. Objective To provide a clear

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Quality maintenance and enhancement

throughout the fresh fruits and vegetables chain

The concept of quality applied

to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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To provide a clear

understanding of the Quality Concept as supporting the implementation of Quality and Safety Assurance Programmes in the horticultural sector.

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Quality: Why?

  • Transition of countries from production economies to market economies (growth, productivity, diversity, profitability, quality, etc).

  • Increasing globalization of the world economy.

  • Increasing international competition.

  • Recognizing the importance of adopting an integral approach to the quality concept, as key element to reduce costs, improve efficiency, etc.

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1. The Quality Concept....

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Quality Concept

Quality is like art:

“everybody praises it, everybody recognizes it,

but each one has its own understanding of

what it is”.

Richard J. Schonberger

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Some definitions..

“The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs”.ISO 8402:1987

This definition implies “consumer’s satisfaction”, fulfilling their needs and expectations, in an organization committed to continuous improvement and effectiveness.

ISO/CD2 9000:2000

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Some definitions..

“A complex characteristic of foods that determines its value and acceptability by consumers”

(Twenty Second FAO Regional Conference For Europe. Oporto 2000)

From a general point of view, it is a combination of product’s characteristics that are critical to meet consumer expectations and needs.

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Consumer needs...


  • Health, nutrition value.

  • Safety: food will not cause harm to the

  • consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten

  • according to its intended use.

  • Consumer information: labelling information.


  • Satisfaction: “Right to choose”-(taste, odour, appearance, touch, etc).

  • Service: convenience, facilities (easy peeling), etc.


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Quality from the producer's

point of view...

Some aspects:

  • Appearance.

  • Added value as result of a process or practice.

  • Market opportunities.

  • Price.

  • Environmental considerations/improving and sustainability of farming resources- soil, diversity, flora, fauna, etc.

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Quality from the buyer's point of view...

Some aspects:

  • Appearance and sensorialcharacteristics.

  • Seed variety, added value, innovation.

  • Reliability of suppliers.

  • Market opportunities.


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Quality from the consumer's point of view...

Some aspects:

  • Appearance and taste.

  • Variety, added value, innovation.

  • Safety/Health

  • ‘Ethical value’.

  • Nutritional value

  • Price.

  • Environmental protection.

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Quality from the public

and private sector's point of view







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From the consumer’s point of view:

“Quality is related with the minimal requirements, in force by laws and regulations, to ensure safe, wholesome products for human consumption; and to ensure that such food products are honestly and accurately labelled as prescribed by law”.

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Quality Concept

  • Because of the variety of players in the supply chain, as well as the potential for different uses of the product at various stages in the chain different orientations of the quality concept can arise :

  • Producers, researchers: product-oriented

  • Consumers, marketers and economists: consumer-oriented (needs and expectations)

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Quality Dimentions..

ACIAR. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2000. Mentioned

by Mazaud, F and Opara, L (2001)

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Quality concept is SUBJETIVE, it will depend of the userand of the role of every player in the FFV chain, but certainly the quality concept compromises all of the attributes, characteristics and features of a product that the buyer, purchaser, consumer or user expects in order to meet the intended use.

Quality is consistently meeting the continuously negotiated expectation of the customer and stakeholders in a way that represents value for all involved.

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expectations of the customer and stakeholders


“Supplying the right product, at the right time, at the right price and with the right support service”.

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Quality Concept

Quality is determined by the relative values of several characteristics, which when considered together, will determine the acceptability of the product to the buyer and ultimately to the consumer.

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2. Quality attributes

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Quality attributes of horticultural products to satify

consumer's needs and expectations:

  • Product Attributes:

    • Taste

    • Texture

    • Colour.

    • Convenience

    • Appearance.

    • Post-harvest shelf life.

    • SAFETY

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Quality attributes of horticultural products to satify

consumer's needs and expectations:

  • Process Attributes:

  • Organic production

  • Environmental considerations.

  • Product origin.

  • Animal welfare.

  • Worker’s welfare.

  • Sustainable agriculture (applying Integrated Pest

  • Management and Integrated Crop Management).

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Key factors!

  • Consumer’s Income.

  • Life styles, urbanization process, demographic shifts,

  • ethical diversity, increasing participation of women in

  • the labour market, etc.

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Key factors!

Personal values and cultural norms are key factors defining the importance of quality attributes such as: country or region of origin, animal welfare practices, or environmental impacts of certain production practices, organic production, etc.

Developed Countries are mature markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. Consumers demand higher quality requirements and involve major number of attributes when judging the quality of horticultural fresh products.

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Indicators of Quality Attributes

  • Consumers use indicators to detect attributes that they want to consume: colour, odour, and size, are used to predict experience attributes, such as tenderness and taste.

  • Consumers’ experience or perception are used to evaluate quality attributes such as:

    • Sensorial Characteristics (visual, taste, feel, eating)

    • Convenience

    • Post-harvest shelf life.


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Indicators of Quality Attributes

  • Other quality attributes cannot be readily detected based on consumers’ experience or perception, such as:

  • Safety.

  • Nutritional value.

  • Production process.

  • Environmental protection.

  • Origin; etc.

  • These quality attributes can be communicated to the consumer only through “EXTRINSIC” indicators

  • such as: brands, labels or certifications.

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Indicators of Quality Attributes

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3. ¿How to offer consumer guarantee

on product's quality attributes?

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Increasing awareness to provide QUALITY guarantee..

Quality and safety assurance schemes provide a system to

ASSURING and CERTIFYING desired product attributes (production and processing standards), by INSPECTING to ensure that standards are being observed, and providing an indicator of these attributes through a mark, label, or certification.

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The harmonization of standards, the control and promotion of their quality is fundamental in order to avoid multiplicity of standards.

Standardization promotes collaboration among food actors, reduction of obstacles to trade, allow to differentiate the quality of products, goods and services, and it is a way of getting consumer protection objectives.

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Certification process:

Is a procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process or service is in conformity with certain standards.


Documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines or definitions, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose” - ISO

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The Codex Alimentarius is the recognized international body responsible for setting food standards.

The most important international agreements related to food standards are those of the World Trade organisation (WTO): Agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPM) and Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

Codex Standards, Guidelines and Codes of Practice are recognized by WTO as reference for settlement of disputes and international trade.

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Standards, guidelines, codes of practice, etc. become regulatory documents, when they are adopted by the countries as part of their legislative framework.

For example: HACCP/GMP have been adopted as regulatory for the food industry in many countries.

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The evaluation and formal recognition of a certification programme by an authoritative body.

Accreditation is :


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Components of a Product Standard

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Components of a Product Standard

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Components of a Product Standard

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Training Manual

Section III.

Maintaining and enhancing product quality attributes.

Section IV.

Assuring Fresh Fruit and Vegetables “Safety”.

Section V.

Certification & other schemes: environmental attributes

and social welfare issues. Broad concept of GAP.

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Food Quality and Standards Service (ESNS)

Food and Nutrition Division


Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00100 Rome, Italy.


Tel.: +39 06 57053308

Fax.: +39 06 570 54593/53152

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