Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


S.J.R. Underhill, and Salesh Kumar

Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558, Australia. Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation,The University of Queensland, St Lucia Qld 4072, Australia.

Key words: Pacific, Fiji, supply chain, postharvest horticulture, food wastage, food security.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2015, volume 17, issue 3, pages 199-204.

Abstract: This paper reports on a detailed case study of postharvest losses along a commercial small holder tomato supply chain in Fiji. It is the first systematic quantification of postharvest horticultural losses undertaken in Fiji. Postharvest loss was measured from harvest through to product arrival at the Suva municipal fruit and vegetable markets, with post-municipal market loss determined using simulated storage conditions. In this study, 32.9% of the harvested product was removed from the commercial supply chain due to rots (8.8%), failure to ripen (8.9%), insufficient volume fill a carton (7.8%), physical damage during transport (0.1%) and fruit being over-ripe (6.4%). Poor temperature management during on-farm product ripening and limited on-farm postharvest hygiene were key contributors to the observed loss. In trace-back studies to identify the end-use of all product removed from the commercial chain, of the 32.9% total commercial postharvest loss, 11.0% was consumed at home and/or traded within the village, 6.3% was fed to domestic livestock, and a further 14.7% ended up as on-farm waste or dumped at the municipal refuge. Based on simulated ambient storage condition, once the fruit arrived at the municipal markets, daily postharvest loss thereafter was between 8.3% and 13.4%. Overall accumulative postharvest losses based on three days post-market ambient storage was 60.8%. Postharvest ripening, storage and transport conditions along the supply chain are discussed.

Quantifying postharvest losses along a commercial tomato supply chain in Fiji: A case study

Journal of Applied Horticulture