Food inventory management – A typical characteristic of fruit & vegetable products in the produce category is that suppliers, packaging and prices change throughout the year. Produce buyers know exactly when to switch countries but do they know how much they have to buy? How can they ensure optimum in-store availability without having to make expensive last-minute purchase orders that kill margins?
The supply chain for produce is extremely dynamic. Supply, quality and price depend on the crop yields in different countries. Furthermore, consumer demand can fluctuate hugely from one day to another. As a result, to find the right balance, produce buyers have to be real specialists in this area.
They know the global fruit and vegetables market and they know exactly what is harvested when. For example, in the summer they source their cauliflowers from Dutch farmers whereas, in the winter, they look to Spanish or Italian suppliers. They also have to have a sixth sense when it comes to quality and price. Furthermore, the continuous and timely switch of suppliers is in their DNA.