Here are some e-procurement produce and perishable replenishment thoughts and principles for retail buyers.

February 24th, 2010

You already have a lot to think about. You’ve been buying from the same people for years, so you know your product is clean and safe. Ok, that’s your first mistake.

Retail procurement professionals need to be aware of more than just pricing when buying produce and other perishable products with electronic tools. Sometimes we spend to much time watching indices and being concerned about price when there are other issues that can quite frankly be overlooked and impact the quality and safety of what our consumers expect in their produce and other perishable purchases.

There are literally dozens of pesticides sprayed on produce and also many fertilizing techniques used that this blogger is sure none of your consumers are aware of. So who is the watchdog for the products that your buy. The answer is you. There are organizations out there that watch globally like the Environmental Working Group (EWG). But we already know you don’t have time for that.

If you have never been to a farm that grows the products you are buying or visited a packaging facility you need to. So when you set up your e-procurement event for produce and other perishables here are some things to be thinking about daily in your specifications. Don’t make the mistake of just running your events daily without constantly reviewing and adjusting more than quantity and price.

Here are some top of mind items you should be thinking about.

1. Who grew it
2. Who picked it
3. Who packed it
4. When and where was it picked
5. When and where was it packed
6. Was it fertilized with petroleum based products
7. Was it fertilized with semi solid leftovers
8. What  synthetic pest controls were used
9. Local versus not local
10. Organics versus non organics
11. What price index should I use
12. How is it being shipped
13. Certifications
14. Grass –fed
15. Pastured

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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