Current understanding and use of quality characteristics of horticulture products.
The horticultural supply chains comprise various stakeholders with differing perspectives. Their view on quality evaluation, accordingly, varies greatly when it comes to determining the particular requirements a horticultural product has to meet. Reaching a shared understanding of these diverse quality perspectives, especially concerning the end costumer – the consumer, is an essential prerequisite for a successful cooperation within the horticultural supply chain. Adding to the challenge is the fact that not only is there no uniform consumer, but due to shifting social and personal values, consumer preferences are also permanently in a state of flux. This, in turn, creates specific food trends satisfying the current demand of food, e.g. health, convenience or slow food. At least this is true for industrialized economies that are characterized by sufficient food availability. In contrast, approximately three billion people in developing countries are malnourished due to a sheer lack of food. Thus, to produce quality in horticultural products on the one hand means to meet consumer preferences, but in another, more fundamental way, it also means for ensuring food security for each consumer. This review highlights the need for intensified consideration of various consumer types and preferences that will enable us to satisfy the diverse consumer demands for horticulture products.
Schreiner, M.; Korn, M.; Stenger, M.; Holzgreve, L.; Altmann, M. 2013. Current understanding and use of quality characteristics of horticulture products. Scientia Horticulturae 163, 63-69.