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Johnathan Sutton, Tesco representative for Asia and Oceania
Asia: The sourcing opportunity

Complying to standards is not the only requirement to access international markets. Johnathan Sutton, representative of Tesco for Asia and Oceania, described at the Asia Fruit Congress, the challenges that suppliers have to confront to access markets particularly from Asia.

Some of the success stories are based on management that reduces the reliance on intermediary agents for exports. Direct sourcing is one of the main components of this equation. For Asian countries, there are huge opportunities in sourcing exotics. However, it is necessary to develop campaigns of education to give information to potential consumers abroad. Additionally, innovation in logistics and packaging are requirements to conserve the freshness of the fruit.

What are the challenges? According to Mr. Sutton, the Asian growers/exporters have to be aware of pesticides (MRLs), traceability and supply chain issues.

In MRLs, the challenge is not only to reduce them but to have the control systems to make the follow up when required. A history on data can give providers an important tool for evaluation and farm management.

Traceability and supply chain control implies not only to the product. The growers have to compromise between workers welfare and the hygienic and product safety. These are, according to Mr. Sutton key areas for development.

In summary, growers and exporters from Asia have to keep more attention on customer standards, progress on pesticides without leaving out competitiveness and sustainability of their production.

Based on the presentation by Johnathan Sutton at the Asia Fresh Congress

Publication date: 9/16/2009
Author: Jahir Lombana


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