Volume 2, December 2009

*Hanya dalam versi English sahaja

1. An Overview of the Supply Chain Management of Malaysian Vegetable and Fruit Industries Focussing on the Channel of Distribution

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Author(s): Norsida Man, Nolila Mohd.Nawi, and Mohd.Mansor Ismail
Keywords:  Fresh fruit and vegetables, supply chain management, channel of distribution

Abstract: The paper delineates three fundamental characteristics of the local supply chain for vegetables and fruits in Malaysia where the marketing channels are still traditionally driven from the wholesalers' perspectives. Produce is procured from farmers by wholesalers and then channelled to the hypermarkets and retailers. Most of the produce attributes are lacking in terms of quality, packaging, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), traceability and safety characteristics. Most producers do not grade or pack their products and most of the production and marketing practices in the current supply chain are still traditional practices with only minor adoption of modern marketing practices being applied. This study indicates that production contract is not being practised. However, transactions on marketing or supply contracts do exist in the supply chain system. However, only a small number of farmers are involved in marketing contracts. The current system still relies on the old system of procurement and supply practices. The current supply chain management lacks attributes, such as the issues of consumer packaging, branding, and the promotion of organic farming towards sustainable agriculture. Thus, the involvement of government agencies and private sectors is essential in the promotion of production contracts to farmers.

2. Evaluating the Perception on Objective Quality of Bahulu between Local Micro Food Producers and Consumers in Penang

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Author(s): Nabsiah Abdul Wahid, and Hamdia Mudor
Keywords: Objective quality, sensory dimension, functional dimension, symbolic dimension, bahulu, consumers

Abstract: Bahulu is very popular amongst Malaysians and is listed as one of Malaysia's heritage food. Bahulu producers in Malaysia are mainly made up of local entrepreneurs who are involved in what is categorized as micro businesses. These are businesses that have less than five employees with a sales turnover of less than RM250,000. The capability of micro businesses to embark on sophisticated marketing strategies will be close to none. Thus, they depend mostly on product (objective) quality to compete and survive in the marketplace. This study attempts to identify the objective quality of bahulu as perceived by the local producers and consumers in terms of the sensory, functional and symbolic dimensions; and also to find out whether a perception gap of the objective quality between the two parties exist. To do this, a survey of both (active) bahulu producers and consumers in Penang was carried out. The study found that the three dimensions of objective quality are importantly perceived. There are however differences between the two groups in terms of how each dimensions is evaluated and ranked. Although exploratory, the gaps found are important to the local micro entrepreneurs and they should take note of them in order to ensure they can sustain their bahulu businesses in the marketplace by understanding ‘what' component of bahulu to improve on. The same is implied for related government agencies like FAMA and MADA who guide these bahulu producers in their business ventures.