Quality losses in SA tomato supply chain

LEAD INSTITUTION:  University of KwaZulu Natal
BENEFICIARY:  Tomato Industry

  1. The determination of impact of road quality on tomato shelf life will facilitate determination of transportation routes and incentivize/support development of infrastructure.
  2. Lowering of damages to tomatoes postharvest due to improved transportation logistics decisions and management (route selection, conditions, speeds, packaging, etc.).
  3. Increase in productivity of tomato industry through improved understanding of the transportation conditions that affect postharvest damages to tomato crops.
  4. Description/assessment of losses incurred in the current tomato supply chain, based on shelf-life studies of tomatoes from the different farms in Limpopo owned by ZZ2 and an emerging farmer.
  5. Assessment of losses incurred due to various handling practices.
  6. Identification of quality parameters that can be added to the current list of parameters for measuring tomato quality in the supply chain.
  7. Development of quality deterioration models to predict losses in the specified supply chain. The model can be used as a decision support tool in this supply chain and may be adapted for use in other supply chains.
  8. Best combination of postharvest treatments and handling methods for prolonging tomato shelf life – integrated postharvest handling.

The study will generate information for use by both large-scale and emerging farmers in improving their postharvest handling operations.