20 June 2007 | Antony Barton
Retail buyers must improve projections and planning to assist vegetable suppliers in developing countries.
They should also share detailed market information with these suppliers on past trends, such as demand and pricing, and consider working with other supply chain partners to enable exporters to source from groups of smallholders.
The recommendations appear in a report launched today by fair trade organisation Traidcraft, which includes interviews with small-scale farmers in Kenya.
It says an estimated 38 per cent of fresh vegetables consumed in the UK are sourced from abroad, and the spend on fruit and vegetables will increase by £600 million between 2006-2011.
A fresh perspective - Consultation: sourcing vegetables from developing countries says farmers in the best position are supported by their exporters to understand the different standards they must meet and have exporters who are willing to invest in new equipment.
Damaging practices by buyers include pressing suppliers for "loyalty" donations when they are about to miss their investor forecast or profit target.