Chapter 26: Organisational innovation in fresh produce co-operatives: the case of FresQ in the Netherlands
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Over the last two decades, the market of fresh produce in Europe has experienced tremendous changes. Supermarkets have become the dominant outlet for fruit and vegetables (F & V), and they have forced strict quality requirements on producers. Farms have become larger, producers more professional. The role of marketing co-operatives has changed dramatically; where formerly they focused on providing a marketplace and on bargaining on behalf of their members, today they are full service providers to their retail customers. New strategies and structures have been adopted. Internal decision-making has become more challenging because the membership has become more heterogeneous and because the co-operative has to accommodate both the interests of the members and those of its customers. Fresh produce marketing can be organised according to different sales and price determination models. As F & V are perishable products, and both supply and demand are volatile due to variable weather conditions, flexibility in the market and efficient logistics are important conditions. F & V can be sold through bilateral bargaining between grower and trader, through collective bargaining through growers' association or co-operative and trader, or through an auction where the price is determined by the auction clock. Bargaining can take place about today's harvest, or about products to be harvested within a week, a month, or a season.

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