International fresh produce market developments and their implications for high value horticulture in emerging economies

  • D. Hughes (2006). Acta Horticulturae, 113-118
  • Abstract: Change is the order of the day in global grocery markets. The pictures in developed and emerging countries contrast sharply; food markets struggle for growth in the former with static, even declining ageing populations, whereas in the latter the demographic profile is growth-orientated and buoyant. Supermarkets have high growth rates from a low base in emerging countries, but the reverse is the case in developed countries. Irrespective of economic development status, food supply chains are being rationalized with fewer, more sophisticated major retail and food service buyers wishing to deal with fewer, larger, better-resourced manufacturers, distributors and farmers. Power is polarizing in the global food industry. On the one hand, major life science companies are capturing intellectual property relating to unique attributes in new and existing varieties of crops. On the other, huge retail businesses are learning to exploit the commercial value of the mass of information they have exclusive access to on what, where and when we buy in supermarkets and convenience stores. The importance of traditional wholesale markets for fresh foods should not be forgotten in the rush to embrace a supermarket economy. If they are to survive and prosper, they too must evolve in providing an alternative route to consumers for smaller-scale food producers and "mom and pop" retailers. These micro-businesses will continue to have an important impact on national economic development and the livelihoods of millions of citizens in emerging economies. For those in high value horticulture, however, the modern retail and food service sector will be the principal route to market in the future. These businesses will require volume and value growth to spread overhead (reducing unit costs), to underpin investment and finance innovation, and to afford the salaries and professional development of increasingly well-qualified staff.
  • Theme: Growth and performance
  • Keywords: Consumer trends, Food supply, Globalization, Horticulture businesses, Wholesale
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: United Kingdom, Europe, Global North
  • Quality:
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