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White paper

How postharvest interventions contribute to improving food systems

The white paper explores the potential of postharvest interventions in a food systems perspective. It is widely known that postharvest management contributes to food preservation and more even release of produce to the market. From a food systems perspective Wageningen researchers explored the impact of postharvest interventions on topics such as food availability, food accessibility, product price development, food loss prevention, economic development and social inclusion.

The preservation of fresh produce is a shared responsibility, running from decisions made during the production and harvest stage, through supply chains until moment of consumption. In this paper we take a closer look at what both the private and public sector can do to improve the food system. The starting point is having a good understanding of the supply chain or country level postharvest sophistication. The white paper offers tools used by Wageningen experts to help maximizing the results of postharvest interventions.

Impact of postharvest management



Infographic on Postharvest Interventions

In the past many well-meant initiatives were deployed to introduce postharvest technologies in low and middle income countries. Often these initiatives did not result in sustained adoption or upscaled implementation. As food chains are predominantly managed by the private sector, postharvest interventions require to have a positive return on investment, which require market development. The envisioned interventions have to fit within the local food system, environment and envisioned end-market for the fresh produce. It is only then, that the great potential of postharvest interventions can be utilized.

Highlights of white paper

  • Insights into the necessity to strengthen food systems in low and middle income countries and the important role postharvest management has in achieving these goals;
  • Information on assessment and benchmarking postharvest management status at country and company level;
  • Explanation of the Wageningen expert vision on step-by-step improvement of postharvest management and thereby maximizing impact on the food system.

    Download the whitepaper

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