Improving performance in the fresh potato supply chain

Uploaded by: Emily Gardiner
Updated on: 11th July 2019
Author(s): WRAP

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Field trials conducted during the 2017 growing season in the UK have shown how the use of smart technology, combined with training and greater supply chain collaboration, can help maximise crop yields.

The project worked with 14 growers in the East of England supplying fresh potatoes for retail in ASDA stores through their integrated supply chain partner, IPL.

The aim of this project was to maximise the amount of fresh potato crops in desired retail specification from field to pack-house by using a range of tools with growers and the supply chain. These tools included technical training and the use of a crop yield model developed by NIAB to provide forecasts of total and graded yield ahead of harvest (the NIAB Potato Yield Model). The project team collected data to determine the impact of the initiative on reducing losses of marketable yield from field to pack house.

This project has gone some way to collecting the objective data that is required in order to assess variability and ultimately help improve the performance of crops in future years. Our key recommendation is that ensuring common data standards that operate across the whole industry is vital to effective performance monitoring and improvements.

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