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Fresh Fruit Supply Chain Optimization
The fresh fruit chain has been recognized as a very important and strategic part of the economic development of many countries. The planning framework for production and distribution is highly complex as a result. Mathematical models have been developed over the decades to deal with this complexity. This review focuses on the recent progress in mathematically based decision making to account for uncertainties in the fresh fruit supply chain
1.1. Constraints and Challenges
The traditional practice of trade is still dominant. With many intermediary stages as well as complex local rules, the food supply chain is longer and logistically more complex than in developed countries.
Storage after harvesting and transportation is quite expensive due to a climate with high temperature and humidity.
Although the growth of the formal agro-industrial sector has been rapid, the practice of using low paid labor is widespread. Though labor is cheap (and often unskilled), there is a high turnaround. Companies/farms must deal with workforce shortages during busy periods at the beginning and the end of the season when planting and harvesting take place, offering opportunities for workers to quickly change employers for better pay.
Communication and the exchange of information between value chain partners in harvesting, preliminary processing, packing, labelling, preserving and transportation is often very poor, as is consumer awareness and the usage of agricultural products.
Farmers are the most important factor in the food supply chain. However, most of them cannot set a good price for their products, due to these complex elements and their lack of market information and experience. The price for their products is often determined by traders, although cooperatives and fair trade have emerged through the last 50 years.
1.2. Influencing Elements
Functional areas: this category comprises production, harvest, storage and distribution
Purpose of the chain: this category includes the scope of the decisions made: such as harvest planning and optimization.
Environmental factors: these include the planting environment with uncertainties and risks (countries with water shortage or natural calamities).
Fruit characteristics, such as (1) highly perishable and (2) long shelf life.
1.3. Common Concepts and Dominant Approaches
Several modeling approaches for the fresh fruit supply chain were conceived based on various settings, constraints, challenges and influencing elements (shown in Figure 2):.
2. Robustness and Limitations of Existing Models
Relationship between price and demand
Planting/harvesting times and shipping/transporting factors
Operational decision-making styles
3. Conclusions and Research Perspectives for Future Models
The entry is from 10.3390/agriengineering3030034
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