IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Private Standards, Handling and Hygiene in Fruit Export Supply Chains: A Preliminary Evaluation of the Economic Impact of Parallel Standards

Listed author(s):
  • Vermeulen, Hester
  • Jordaan, Daniel du Plessis Scheepers
  • Korsten, Luuk
  • Kirsten, Johann F.

With the emergence of private food safety and quality standards in developed countries fruit exporting countries in the developing world face increasing constraints to access markets in the rich industrialised countries in the North. Producers in the South have no alternative as to make the necessary investments on farms and in pack houses to comply with the requirements of these food quality and safety standards. The export of fresh fruit is an important component of South African agricultural exports, with citrus fruit exported to markets such as Europe being of particular importance. This paper reports selected results from a large research project into the impact of private standard compliance on the quality of the fruit and the returns to farmers. The research process involved a multi-disciplinary analysis of Agricultural Economics and Microbiology / Plant pathology as we analysed the dynamics of the citrus export supply chain from the farms in South Africa to the end consumer in Europe. Sampled fruit containers were followed through the whole supply chain which allowed us to provide an exposé of the behaviour of the different actors in the citrus supply chain and obtain some evidence of poor handling and hygiene standards by means of a comparison of the experimental observations with various relevant components of the EurepGAP control points and compliance criteria for fruit and vegetables. Observations suggest that these standards are adequately applied to the production and handling of fruit at the farm and pack house levels while on the other hand the subsequent stages (mainly after the importing harbour in Europe) of the fruit supply chain are seemingly not subjected to the same strict requirements laid out for producers, leading to fruit quality deterioration and financial losses for producers. This constitutes clear parallel standards in terms of fruit safety and quality standards between upstream and downstream sections of the supply chain and questions thus the purpose of the standards and the financial return for producers making large investments to comply with these privately introduced standards.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Pretoria, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development in its series Working Papers with number 60887.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Handle: RePEc:ags:upaewp:60887
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Pretoria 0002

Phone: (+27-12) 420-3251
Fax: (+27-12) 420-3247
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Henson, Spencer & Reardon, Thomas, 2005. "Private agri-food standards: Implications for food policy and the agri-food system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 241-253, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:upaewp:60887. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.