Management of plastic fruits and vegetables crates

Storage is essential when the fresh produce outputs of smallholder

producers must be consolidated to attain economies of scale during

transport and distribution. Efforts must be made to control the storageenvironment in order to assure the maintenance of quality. In general, the temperature and the humidity of the environment in which the produce is placed are the major factors that impact on its quality during transit and. Under optimum conditions of temperature and humidity thestorage life of fresh produce will be extended to the maximum.Bulk packaging is an integral element in the marketing of fresh produce and provides an essential link between the producer and the consumer.Consumer demand for produce that is safe and of high quality has been a major driver of the shift from using traditional bulk packaging materials to the use of improved containers such as reusable plastic crates. In many developing countries, there has been the rapid adoption of plastic crates for bulk packaging of selected fresh produce items and this growth has offered new business opportunities for service providers such as farmers groups or clusters, cooperatives, traders, commercial farmers and foreign

agribusiness firms, and even the plastic crate manufacturers who are

engaged in rental services to farmers.Effective use of returnable plastic crates, however, requires proper physical management in order to ensure appropriate logistical arrangements within the fresh produce supply chain. It is also imperative that proper hygienic management protocols are followed in order not to compromise the safety and quality of fresh produce transported in plastic crates. Service providersengaged in supplying bulk packaging materials such as returnable plastic crates must, therefore, establish clear guidelines and schemes for the efficient and effective physical and hygienic management of these crates. Special emphasis should be placed on the lower level categories of service

providers whose awareness must be raised and who may need information