Trends in the fresh apple inventory industry indicate that apple quality will be a more significant determinant of the apple packing firm's ability to retain market share during the next decade. Because apples are perishable, the firm's ability to accurately coordinate orders and apple supplies enhances the firm's ability to compete in this quality, oriented market. This paper presents a computer simulation model designed to analyze alternative inventory control policies for an apple packing firm. A firm located in the State of New York, USA, is used to illustrate the model's usefulness.
Apple inventory as one of the fresh fruit commodities, needs specific treatment in material handling to keep the freshness of the product from farm to the consumers. One of the critical process to maintain the quality of the product is the inventory system. Inventory is one of the significant cost components in the production system. Therefore, the inventory system must be controlled to propose the optimal inventory level at the minimum cost. The objective of this paper is to minimise the inventory costs of fresh apple inventory in one of supermarket in Indonesia by using a multi-supplier Basnet-Leung formulation model since the retailer replenishes his inventory from several suppliers. This model allows the system to apply multi-products, multi-periods lot sizing and multi-suppliers. The result shows by comparing the costs components between the existing company inventory system and the proposed Basnet-Leung inventory system; the total cost is reduced up to 40.26%. It results in the total saving in purchasing cost, ordering cost, and holding cost up to 43.20%, 1.17%, and 44.31% respectively. To sum up, controlling the inventory level by using Basnet-Leung model will result in a more effective way of purchasing management.
Apple Inventory Eat food, not profits — with food industry inventory management
Say goodbye to spoilage. Using this article, you will learn how to optimize food industry inventory management and the ultimate tools for optimizing this process.
In the United States, the food industry inventory management is worth $1 trillion.
Last updated: 15.07.2022
And although it applies to the observation of how one thing can corrupt another, it too applies to us manufacturers handling food goods. One literal bad apple can spoil the literal barrel. If your livelihood depends on apples to make your apple pies, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize how this scenario isn’t good for you.
So, how do you ensure that your perishable inventory stays fresh?
Introducing food industry inventory management.
In this article, you’ll learn all about proper inventory management in food industry, tips for improving it, why it’s important, and the best tools for the job.
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When handling perishable goods, it’s essential for end-to-end traceability. Farmsoft gives users the power to implement batch and expiry date tracking, ensuring industry compliance and giving manufacturers total visibility.
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There is approximately 1.8 million inventory management in food industry establishments in the United States.
What is food industry inventory management?
Food industry inventory management is the process of monitoring and maintaining stock levels of food company items in a commercial setting.
Distributing food products
An effective food industry inventory management system helps businesses keep track of their food stocks, minimize waste, and ensure fresh and safe products.
An important part of inventory management in food industry is knowing how to store food items properly. This includes keeping track of expiration dates and using proper storage methods to ensure that products do not spoil or become contaminated. Additionally, businesses must regularly check their inventories to ensure enough supplies are on hand to meet demand planning.
Food industry inventory management systems can be manual or automated.
Manual systems typically involve paper records like inefficient spreadsheets and manual stock-taking, while automated systems like food inventory management software use computer software to track and manage stock levels. Automated systems can provide businesses with real-time data on inventory levels, which can help them make more informed decisions about ordering and stocking food items.
Effective inventory management process in the food industry is essential for running a profitable food manufacturing business.
It helps businesses keep track of their stock levels, minimize waste, and ensure that products are fresh and safe for consumption. Additionally, proper storage methods and regular inventory checks can help businesses avoid potential problems associated with food spoilage or contamination. Automated inventory management systems can provide businesses with tools for improving efficiency and accuracy in managing their food stocks.
Inventory management process in food industry in the United States generate about $200 billion in annual revenue.
What is food industry inventory management Software?
Food industry inventory management software is a tool that helps food businesses keep track of their stock levels, orders, and sales.
It can monitor trends and optimize order sizes to reduce waste and save money.
This type of software can be used by restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, and other food-related businesses. These programs offer many different features, but they all share the same goal — to help food businesses run more efficiently. Some common features of food industry inventory management software include:
The ability to track stock levels and sales data
The ability to generate reports on trends and inventory levels
The ability to set up reorder point alerts for when stock levels are low
The ability to create and manage orders
The ability to track supplier information
Food industry inventory management software is a valuable tool for any food business. Food software allows companies to save time and money while ensuring that their operations run smoothly.
Role of Transport FreshUp is a hypothetical company having apple...
Role of Transport
FreshUp is a hypothetical company having apple orchards in Shimla and Srinagar. The company supplies fresh apples to its retail clients in big metropolitan cities such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. The shelf life of apples is five to seven days. The company currently uses road as a mode of transport, which takes around 72 hours to transfer the apples to the above-mentioned cities. On average, it takes 24 hours for apples to be picked up by the consumers from the retail stores. Thus, four days (of their five to seven-day shelf life) are wasted until the apples reach the consumers.
Integrated Horticultural Practices for Improving Apple Supply Chain Sustainability: A Case Study in the North China Plain
by Shan Jiang,Chen Yang,Yu Guo andXiaoqiang Jiao *
National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, Department of Plant Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Riccardo Testa, Giuseppina Migliore, Giorgio Schifani and József Tóth
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101975
Received: 2 August 2021 / Revised: 16 September 2021 / Accepted: 19 September 2021 / Published: 30 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic New Trends in Agri-Food Sector: Environmental, Economic and Social Perspectives)
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Apple production provides smallholders with low economic benefits, while high environmental emissions limit the sustainability of the apple supply chain. Furthermore, coordination to achieve greater economic benefits and environmental protection, thereby improving the sustainability of the apple supply chain, remains underdeveloped. Here, we have analyzed the current status of the economic benefits and environmental emissions of the apple production process and explored the level of collaboration within the apple supply chain, based on an analysis of farmer horticultural practices for high production, high economic benefit, and low environmental emissions, in combination with substance flow analysis. Our study showed that compared with traditional practice, high-yielding, high-efficiency practice allowed fruit yield, partial productivity of nitrogen fertilizer, and economic benefit to increase by 33%, 61% and 49%, respectively, while soil nitrogen residue levels decreased by 13%. The improvement and adoption of technology in the apple-planting process significantly improved the sustainability of the apple supply chain: the economic benefit increased by 63%, while the nitrogen footprint decreased by approximately 68%. Additionally, the application of integrated nutrient management technology in the apple planting process significantly improved the sustainability of apple production, thereby synergistically improving the economic and environmental impact of the apple supply chain.
Keywords: high yield and high efficiency; apple; supply chain; substance flow analysis (SFA); nutrient management; N flow; economic benefits
The apple tree is a perennial deciduous species of the genus Malus, within the subfamily Malus of the Rosaceae family. Apples are rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins and have a high nutritional value. Furthermore, they are one of the four major fruits (apples, bananas, citrus, and pears) produced in China. Thus, Chinese total apple output in 2019 was 42.4 million tons, accounting for 36.2% of the total output of these major fruits [1,2]. Indeed, China is currently the largest apple cultivator and producer in the world, as well as a significant apple exporter. Consequently, apples are one of the most important cash crops in China  and play a vital role in the endeavors of smallholders to overcome poverty and become economically independent, improving rural economic conditions, and increasing the level of industrialization . However, in pursuit of raising the output of apple cultivation, smallholders tend to use excessive amounts of fertilizers to maximize economic benefit. This extensive management strategy has led to a wasteful use of nutrient resources, causing a series of environmental problems that have severely limited the sustainability of the apple supply chain, such as groundwater nitrate pollution and soil acidification . As in many others, the apple supply chain consists of many different links, including apple planting, apple processing, apple selling and distribution. Fruit supply-chain management is more complex than other food supply chains because it has unique characteristics, including storage-life considerations, the security and volatility of demand and price, inventory, production, and distribution . Previous research on the apple supply chain mainly focused on post-harvest handling; however, the agricultural input and production process thereof, before harvest, have rarely been analyzed to any detail [7,8]. Thus, for example, in one the few previous studies available, Soto-Silva et al. (2017) proposed an optimization model for decision-making related to the purchasing, transportation, and storage of fresh agricultural products . In turn, Paam et al. (2019) studied the impact of inventory management optimization on fruit loss, inventory, and processing costs in an apple supply chain . Lastly, Khan et al. (2016) determined that the income of producers in the Pakistani apple supply chain was 27%, while that of intermediaries was as high as 73% .
While apple production is the main stage in the apple supply chain, apple production in China currently faces many difficult challenges, such as low yields, poor quality, low export volume, over-large scale, irrational variety structure, and significant variation in yield and resource utilization efficiency among orchards [10,11]. As the main players in apple production, smallholders have limited resources, low educational levels, and a low availability of technological inputs; such that they often resort to insurance strategies for nutrient management due to the limitations imposed by poor training, the influence of traditional concepts, the lack of agricultural extension services, and the misleading influence of fertilizer retailers. Together, these factors have led to excessive fertilization, such that nutrient input is much greater than crop requirements, whereby, improving the capacity of smallholders for apple production and rational nutrient management are key issues for increasing the economic and environmental benefits of the apple supply chain .
Numerous studies have shown increased production efficiency of apple trees. For example, Ge et al. (2017) reviewed currently available technologies for reducing apple fertilizer input while increasing fertilizer-use efficiency, mainly focusing on obstacles in soil improvement and fertility enhancement, optimal nutrient management, root layer nutrient regulation, and new fertilizers and “large formulas, small adjustments” . In turn, Sun et al. (2018) conducted field trials over three consecutive years and found that the optimum depth for manure application was 20–40 cm, and that the optimum application rate was 75 m3∙hm−2, as it had the best effect on the growth, yield, and fruit quality of new apple shoots . Most current research focuses on the effect of horticultural practices on a single stage and a single goal of and for the apple supply chain, while research on the multi-objective coordination of the apple supply chain is lacking, especially on how to achieve economic and environmental synergy within the supply chain. The disclosure of this information, while determining the localization technology of sustainable apple production, can also be of significance for smallholders in terms of optimizing resource utilization, improving resource utilization efficiency, achieving greater economic benefits, and reducing environmental emissions throughout the apple supply chain.
Therefore, in this study, we analyzed 66 smallholders in Quzhou County, a typical apple production area in the Bohai Bay region of the North China Plain. Our goals were: (1) to analyze the economic benefits and environmental emissions generated during apple planting/processing/sales, and (2) to clarify comprehensive horticultural practices to synergistically increase the economic benefits of the apple supply chain while reducing environmental emissions associated, and ways to sustainably improve the supply chain based on the analysis of different types of farmers.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Overview of the Research Area
The study area is located in Xianggongzhuang Village, Quzhou County, Hebei Province (36°46 N, 115°1 E). The site is located in the Heilongjiang Basin of the Haihe Plain on the eastern foot of Taihang Mountain in the southern Hebei Province. It is in the upper Zhanghe alluvial fan in the Heilonggang area at the intersection of the alluvial plains of the Zhang and Fuyang rivers and the alluvial plains of the Yellow River. The region is characterized by a warm temperate, semi-humid, continental monsoon climate and an annual average temperature of 13.1 °C and an annual average rainfall of 556.2 mm. Precipitation is concentrated in July–September, and rain and heat arrive simultaneously, which is beneficial for agricultural production; however, it is dry and windy in spring. The soil is mainly composed of clay. Xianggongzhuang Village is the largest apple-growing village in Quzhou County. There are >120 ha of apple planting land, accounting for approximately 52.9% of the total apple-cultivated area in the county, and 64.0% of the arable land in the village. Apple cultivation in Xianggongzhuang Village has promoted the development of the apple industry in the surrounding areas and, indeed, in the entire county. However, owing to the different characteristics of farmer types present and their different agronomic training, among other reasons, apple yield and quality vary substantially among different local farmers.
2.2. Farmer Survey
Our survey included the following five aspects. (1) Sample selection: 70 growers were randomly selected for questionnaire surveys among more than 210 apple growers in Xianggongzhuang Village, Quzhou County; 66 valid questionnaires were obtained, covering an area of 15.0 hm2, which accounted for approximately 12.5% of the local planting area. (2) Questionnaire design: this mainly included gathering basic farmer information, such as gender, age, educational level, apple variety planted, tree age, orchard tree-population density, etc., orchard management practices, such as fertilization application, fertilization period, fertilization type, irrigation frequency, time and frequency of pesticide application, use of a swelling agent, the amount of reflective film used, bagging period, number of bags, and other information items. (3) Implementation of the survey: the survey was conducted from July to September 2020; surveyors completed the questionnaire while asking questions; (4) Data revision: Due to the limited knowledge of farmers, their understanding of fruit tree management, and the degree of cooperation in research work, the data and information obtained in the survey may be different from the actual situation. To obtain information on yield and details on horticultural practices, the question-and-answer approach was utilized. After conducting the survey, the data were standardized and revised, and if necessary, a return visit was conducted via telephone. Through visits with 10 apple purchasers and three supermarkets in Quzhou County, apple wholesale and retail prices were collected.
The distribution of the indicators of the 66 smallholders in this survey is shown in Figure S1. The surveyed orchard trees were 5–30 years old. Forty-five smallholders (68.2%) possessed orchards < 15 years old (Figure S1a). The orchard area was 0.05~1.33 hm2, of which 40 smallholders (60.6%) possessed orchards < 0.20 hm2, and there were only five (7.6%) orchards >0.40 hm2 (Figure S1b). The distribution of organic N application rates of smallholders showed a U-shaped trend; 27 (40.9%) smallholders use an application rate of 0–200 kg∙hm−2, and 11 smallholders use > 1200 kg∙hm−2. There were 9, 3, 4, 3, 9, 11 smallholders who use application rates of 200–400, 400–600, 600–800, 800–1000, 1000–1200, and >1200 kg∙hm−2, respectively (Figure S1c). However, the application of N fertilizer by smallholders is mainly concentrated in the range of 200–800 kg∙hm−2, accounting for 71.2% (Figure S1d) of all growers surveyed.
2.3. Composition of the Apple Supply Chain in Quzhou County
The research framework and system boundaries of this study are shown in Figure 1. The apple supply chain is divided into three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. Commercial agricultural inputs (chemical fertilizers, commercial manure, pesticides, reflective films, etc.) and livestock manure produced in the breeding process are transported into the orchard, and the producers follow a series of horticultural and soil management practices to obtain better planting procedures. Finally, apples enter the market through acquisitions, retail, or picking gardens, while bad fruit is returned to the fields or disposed of.
Agronomy 11 01975 g001 550Figure 1. Research framework and system boundaries.
2.4. Data Calculation
2.4.1. N Flow, N Loss, and N-Use Efficiency
The substance flow analysis (SFA) method is used to analyze N flow, N loss, and N use efficiency (NUE) in the apple supply chain system.
N flow: The source of N was determined according to the research situation, and the relevant parameters of the location of ammonia volatilization, denitrification, and soil residual were determined by referring to the literature (Table S1). N input, N loss, and N output were calculated. A Sankey diagram was used to clarify the source and location of N entering the system. The N footprint and NUE were then calculated using the following equations:
Ninput = I1 + I2 + I3 + I4 + I5, (1)
Noutput = O1 + O2, (2)
Nloss = Ninput − Noutput, (3)
N footprint = Ninput/(O1 − E5) (4)
NUE = (O1 − E5)/Ninput. (5)
Supplementary Table S1. Where N input is the total nitrogen input, I1 is the N input as chemical fertilizer, I2 is the N input as manure, I3 is the biologically fixed N, I4 is the atmospheric deposition of N, I5 is the irrigation water N, N output is the total output of N, O1 is the N content in the apple fruit, O2 is the N content in the apple tree (trunk, branches, and leaves), N loss is the loss of nitrogen, E5 is bad fruit, and N is low-quality apple yield.
2.4.2. Partial Productivity of Fertilizer
Partial Productivity of Fertilizer (PFP-N) is one of the indicators for smallholders’ classification, and the other is yield.
PFP-N = Y/FN (6)where, PFP-N is the partial productivity of N fertilizer (kg∙kg−1), Y is the apple yield (kg∙hm−2), and FN is the N input (kg∙hm−2).
The nutrient content of chemical fertilizers was calculated according to the standard nutrient content of the fertilizer, or the nutrient content marked in the fertilizer bag; meanwhile, manure was converted according to the manure nutrient content in Appendix 2 of the Guide to Fertilization of Major Crops in China (2009) , and expressed by the amount of converted pure nutrient.
2.4.3. Data Processing and Statistical Analysis
Data were collated, calculated, and plotted using Microsoft Excel 2010, e! Sankey (Version 4.1, Hamburg, Germany), and Origin 9.1 (Version 12.0, Systat Software Inc., San Jose, CA, USA). We conducted an independent sample t-test analysis of the test results using IBM SPSS statistics (Version 25, Chicago, CA, USA) and compared the significance of differences among treatments (p < 0.05).
3.1. Classification and Screening of Smallholders
Our study was based on 66 smallholders, among whom, 17 high-yield and high-efficiency (HYHE) apple growers were selected using the quartet method, i.e., farmers whose fruit yield and PFP-N were both above the average of the 66 smallholders (Figure 2). The remaining three categories of farmers were high-yield, low-efficiency smallholders, low-yield high-efficiency smallholders, and low-yield low-efficiency smallholders, with sample sizes of 16, 8, and 25, respectively. We defined these three types of farmers as those following traditional practices (TPs).
Agronomy 11 01975 g002 550Figure 2. Distribution of the surveyed smallholders as per yield and partial productivity of the fertilizer (PFP-N). The dotted line in the figure represents the average yield and PFP-N.
In the planting stage, average apple yield of HYHE farmers was 50.3 t∙hm−2, PFP-N was 29.3 kg∙kg−1, and the economic benefit was 78,262.5 184 CNY∙hm−2, and the N footprint was 3.06 kg∙kg−1, which were 33.4%,61.2% and 48.8% higher than those of TPs. The N footprint was 3.06 kg∙kg−1, which was 67.6% lower than the average TP level (Figure 3).
Agronomy 11 01975 g003 550Figure 3. Comparison of indicators between traditional producers (TP) and high-yield high-efficiency (HYHE) farmers. (a) Yield, (b) PFP-N, (c) economic benefits, and (d) N footprint. ** p < 0.01.
3.2. Differences in Horticultural Management
On comparing the horticultural practices of the two groups, fertilizer N, P2O5, and K2O input among farmers in the HYHE group was lower than those of the TPs group by 48.6%, 52.8%, and 45.1%, respectively, and the fertilizer application was more concentrated. The N and K2O inputs of the two groups differed significantly (p < 0.01); similarly, P2O5 input was also significantly different (p < 0.05). The frequency of pesticide use in the HYHE group was 9.7% lower than that in the traditional farmer group, and the amount of reflective film was 36.3% higher among farmers in that group than among their counterparts in the latter (Figure 4).