An investigation into the use of value chain analysis to enhance the quality of fresh produce in the Zimbabwean retail sector: The case of Interfresh Limited (2009-2013)
Mafuwa, Christopher M.
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This research investigates the use of value chain analysis as a strategic tool to enhance the quality of fresh produce. The horticulture industry offers an important source of employment and a contribution to GDP for developing countries such as Zimbabwe. Cultivation of fruit and vegetables is substantially more labour intensive and offers more post-harvest value addition in comparison to cereal crops. Value addition activities, which include washing, packing chopping, dicing, mixing range and branding are amongst the value additions offered by wholesalers and in some cases done at the point of production. It was for this reason that this research investigates the use of value chain analysis as a strategic tool to enhance the quality of fresh produce from farms to the retail sector with a focus on Interfresh Limited. The methodology adopted in this study is a composite of positivism and phenomenology research philosophies. The major aim intent in using this philosophy was to provide a holistic analysis by integrating relevant issues in order to produce a more complete picture of the implementation of balanced scorecard at Interfresh Ltd. The approach made use of participatory questionnaires and conventional research methods. The population study comprised of the staff and management of Interfresh Ltd, TM Supermarkets, Commercial Farmers, Small scale Farmers, Transport Operators and other general stakeholders. The main conclusion of the study revealed that Value chain dis-aggregates a firm into its strategically relevant activities to aid the comprehension of dynamics and behaviour of existing costs and potential sources of differentiation. This focuses on primary and support activities. Support activities enhance the primary activities. This includes firm’s infrastructure, human resources, technology development and procurement.Value chain analysis looks at internal and external activities of a company and relates them to an analysis of the competitive strength. The value creating activities employed at Interfresh Ltd are limited to, advertising, Total Quality Management (TQM), customization of products and charging lower prices than those of rivals. TQM being the major differentiation proposition. The study recommended Interfresh Ltd to ‘benchmark’ the ideas of Japanese firms, where firms through in little extra things that ultimately drive extra ordinary customer satisfaction. It may use value chain as a tool to diagnose and enhance competitive advantage. Interfresh Ltd must ensure consistent supply of produce. Overriding seasons buy use of imports and eliminate shortages of its product offerings. Import parity must ensure affordable prices.
Additional Citation InformationMafuwa, C. M. (2015). An investigation into the use of value chain analysis to enhance the quality of fresh produce in the Zimbabwean retail sector: The case of Interfresh Limited (2009-2013). (Unpublished Masters thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectValue chain analysis