Packaging of table grapes for exports from SA : a comparative study

Nieuwoudt, Tania (2015-04)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Table grapes are the second-largest contributor to the perishable product export in South Africa. The table grape industry also experienced considerable growth in the past ten years. The industry contributes toward employment in South Africa. The South African table grape industry experiences quality-related problems with exporting table grapes to the European market. Examples of quality related problems can range from chemical damage, chilling injury/freezing damage, heavy bruising and decay. A great amount of table grapes is basically wasted. The postharvest loss of table grapes during transportation can range from 1%-25% per day depending on the degree of temperature fluctuation. Therefore, it is important to minimize waste and increase the export volumes in order to utilise the potential profit possibilities. Based on data analysis for this case, results indicated that packaging is preventing cool air from flowing through the pallet during transportation and preventing the table grapes to cool evenly. The fluctuation in temperature contributes to the qualityrelated problems of these table grapes. The primary research goal is to identify packaging-related problems and propose possible solutions to improve the packaging-related conditions in which table grapes arrive at the destination. This study therefore investigated and evaluated the performance of the current packaging system of table grapes within a South African context for exporting to Europe for a specific case. Further analyses of the data received from Dole South Africa, a fruit marketing and distribution company, revealed that the following two types of packaging showed serious quality-related problems: 1) A04I: The 4.5kg box with the grapes in plastic bags. 2) A05E: The 5kg box with 500g punnets (10 x 500g punnets). A questionnaire combining with the Packaging Portfolio Evaluation Model and the Packaging Scorecard was developed and used to evaluate the two identified packaging systems in the following stages: Stage 1: Development of a new questionnaire by combining the Packaging Portfolio Evaluation Model and the Packaging Scorecard. Stage 2: Survey with the questionnaire developed in Stage 1. The identified types of packaging were evaluated with a new questionnaire with specific criteria. Members of the table grape supply chain from the farmer in South Africa to consumer in Sweden were used during the evaluation process. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each criteria or question in order to describe the performance and importance of the different packaging criteria. Data were also analysed with the use of box plots. The box plots and data visualisation methods were used to make conclusions and recommendations regarding the different categories of each type of packaging. It was clear that the major problem areas of both packaging systems involved were related to the environmental aspect of the packaging. The marketing and the logistics of the plastic bag also underperformed. However, individual criteria regarding the other business areas can also be improved. Possible solutions to these problem areas are also suggested in this thesis. The possible solutions include the Tali Grape Basket, Perforated Plastic Liners, New Generation Pack (NGP), Vinguard TM , Easypunnet and the Sulphur Dioxide Liner Bag.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tafeldruiwe is die tweede grootste bydraende faktor tot bederfbare produkuitvoere in Suid-Afrika. Die tafeldruifindustrie het ook aansienlike groei die afgelope tien jaar beleef. Die industrie dra tot werkskepping in Suid-Afrika by. Die Suid-Afrikaanse tafeldruifindustrie ervaar kwaliteitsverwante probleme met die uitvoer van tafeldruiwe na die Europese mark. Voorbeelde van hierdie kwaliteitsverwante probleme kan wissel van chemiese skade, koueskade / vries skade, swaar kneusing en bederf. ‘n Groot hoeveelheid tafeldruiwe word vermors. Die oes verlies van tafeldruiwe tydens vervoer kan wissel van 1% -25% per dag, afhangende van die mate van temperatuur verandering. Daarom is dit belangrik om vermorsing te beperk en uitvoerhoeveelhede te verhoog om sodoende potensiële winsmoontlikhede te benut. Volgens data-analise blyk dit dat huidige verpakking tans verhoed dat koel lug tydens die vervoer van die produk deur die palet vloei, en dit veroorsaak dat die tafeldruiwe nie eweredig afkoel nie. Die wisseling in temperatuur dra grootliks tot die kwaliteitsverwante probleme van die tafeldruiwe by. Die primêre navorsingsdoelwit is om die verpakkingsverwante probleme te identifiseer en moontlike oplossings voor te stel om sodoende die toestand te verbeter waarin tafeldruiwe by die eindbestemming aankom. Daarom ondersoek en evalueer hierdie studie die prestasie van die huidige verpakkingsisteem van tafeldruiwe binne ʼn Suid-Afrikaanse konteks vir uitvoere na Europa; met betrekking tot ʼn spesifieke situasie. Verdere analise van data soos ontvang vanaf Dole Suid-Afrika, ‘n vrugtebemarkingsen verspreidingsmaatskappy, het getoon dat ernstige kwaliteitsverwante probleme veral by die volgende twee tipes verpakkingsisteme voorkom: 1) A04I: Die 4.5kg karton met druiwe in plastieksakkies. 2) A05E: Die 5kg karton met 500g bakkies (10 x 500g bakkies). ʼn Vraelys, gebaseer op die kombinasie van die Verpakkingportefeulje Evalueringsmodel model en die Verpakkingstelkaart, is ontwikkel en gebruik om die bogenoemde verpakkingsisteme te evalueer en wel in die volgende fases: Fase 1: Ontwikkeling van ʼn gekombineerde Verpakkingsportefeulje Evalueringsmodel en die Verpakkingstelkaart tot ʼn nuwe vraelys. Fase 2: Opname met die vraelys soos ontwikkel in Fase 1. Die twee geïdentifiseerde tipes verpakking is geëvalueer met die nuwe vraelys met spesifieke kriteria. Die lede van die tafeldruiwe voorsieningsketting van die boer in Suid-Afrika tot die verbruiker in Swede is gebruik tydens die evaluasieproses. Beskrywende statistiek vir elke kriteria of vraag was bereken sodat die prestasie en belangrikheid van die verskillende verpakkingskriteria beskryf kan word. Data was ook beskryf met behulp van ‘n houer-en-puntstipping. Data visualiseringmetodes en die houer-en-puntstippings was gebruik om gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings rakende die verskillende kategorieë van die tipes verpakking te maak. Dit was duidelik dat die omgewingsaspek van beide tipes verpakking ‘n groot probleem was. Die bemarking en logistiek van die plastieksakkie het ook onderpresteer. Individuele kriteria van ander besigheidsareas kan egter ook verbeter word. Moontlike oplossings vir hierdie probleem-areas word ook in hierdie tesis aangedui. Die moontlike oplossings sluit die “Tali Grape Basket”, “Perforated Plastic Liners”, “New Generation Pack (NGP)”, “Vinguard TM ”, “Easypunnet” en die “Sulphur Dioxide Liner Bag” in

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