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Cool Chain

Every process in the journey of delivering vegetables, right from the field through to the consumer, can be thought of as a link in a chain. When the optimum temperature of the vegetables is maintained from start to finish it is a ‘Cool Chain’.

The aim of the Cool Chain is to:

  • Deliver vegetables in fresh-picked condition

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction

  • Ensure consumer confidence and repeat purchases

  • Increased sales of vegetables

  • Higher prices and better margins

  • Better profits for everyone involved

  • Reduced wastage

Consumers want vegetables that look, smell and taste fresh. This is achieved by harvesting vegetables at their optimum in the field. However, as soon as they are harvested quality begins to deteriorate. To deliver the fresh vegetables consumers are looking for, deterioration must be slowed. The best way to achieve this is to quickly cool vegetables and maintain the temperature throughout the marketing chain. Managing the correct temperature of vegetables through the Cool Chain benefits vegetable quality.

Vegetable Cool Chain
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The Cool Chain works when the optimum temperature of the vegetables is maintained at every step, between the grower and the consumer. Vegetables change hands many times during the journey and each change is a potential break in the Cool Chain. Everyone who handles fresh vegetables during this process needs to be actively aware of the Cool Chain.

Without cooperation from all of these groups, the vegetables would not reach the consumer in the best possible condition. People often wonder how vegetables can look so good in the field yet so bad by the time they get to the shop. Each sector (grower/packer, transporter, wholesaler, retailer) often blames the other. A small break in the Cool Chain can create a big problem in product quality when it reaches the consumer.

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