The production of fruit and vegetables in developing countries has considerably increased in recent years. However, an optimal use of these resources depends not only on the production increase in itself, but also on the improvement, in parallel, of associated infrastructure and post-harvest operations of the produce, before it reaches the final consumer.
Value-adding technological and socio-economics aspects, such as employment generation and quality and safety of the final product, are critical for the efficient performance of the fruit and vegetable system.
Since trade in fruits and vegetables has reached record levels in both developed and developing countries, for socio-economic, nutritional and cultural reasons among others, technological alternatives to facilitate and stimulate the development of the marketing of fruits and vegetables are required. This Manual on the Handling and Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables presents and clearly explains the main aspects to be taken into account when undertaking a commercial activity involving fruits and vegetables.
The manual contains basic and useful elements, with practical examples related to the harvesting, post-harvest handling and marketing of fresh produce for the market including quality and safety aspects and produce storage. The annex includes formats of applicable regulations, based on the Codex Alimentarius, to ensure the quality and safety of the produce. In addition a glossary is provided allowing the identification of a great variety of fruits and vegetables with a large commercial potential.
Even though this manual adopts an approach based on the Latin America and the Caribbean experience, it can be used as a guide in any region or country where this experience is applicable.