Consumers are consuming less meat and consuming more and more fruit and vegetables because of the need for a healthy lifestyle. This calls for an improvement of the fruit and vegetable chains in order to deliver products of consistent quality. This means that produce should always taste good (a combination of juicy, firm, sweet, ripe and aromatic), have a long shelf life and should be easy to use. It has been demonstrated that consistent quality products result in repeat purchases and therefore increased consumption.
In order to deliver consistent high quality all year round, and also to further limit losses in the chain, an increase in chain integration is required. At present, chain links do not know what the intrinsic quality is; this applies both to produced and required quality. At present there is a lack of (the sharing of) knowledge, of robust measuring methods and of adequate chain systems. Chain integration for quality has not been developed sufficiently. The objective of this project is to make chains
more intelligent with a primary focus on quality control. The smart chain
concept introduced by Wageningen is being developed further and tested in existing chains on such a scale that implementation to achieve chain management will no longer be a big step.
The project consists of seven subprojects: