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.
To provide a clear
understanding of the Quality Concept as supporting the implementation of Quality and Safety Assurance Programmes in the horticultural sector.
Quality is like art:
“everybody praises it, everybody recognizes it,
but each one has its own understanding of
what it is”.
Richard J. Schonberger
“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.
“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.
point of view...
and private sector's point of view
PRODUCT SUITABLE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION +
PRODUCT SUITABLE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION+
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”.
ACIAR. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2000. Mentioned
by Mazaud, F and Opara, L (2001)
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.
“Supplying the right product, at the right time, at the right price and with the right support service”.
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.
consumer's needs and expectations:
consumer's needs and expectations:
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.
on product's quality attributes?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The evaluation and formal recognition of a certification programme by an authoritative body.
Accreditation is :
THE PROCESS OF “AUDITING AUDITORS”
Maintaining and enhancing product quality attributes.
Assuring Fresh Fruit and Vegetables “Safety”.
Certification & other schemes: environmental attributes
and social welfare issues. Broad concept of GAP.
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