The managerial and organisational approaches for marketing imported fruit and vegetables within the UK
In this thesis the marketing of fresh fruit and vegetable in the UK is investigated. The issues focused upon are (a) the export orientation of overseas shippers (pull approach versus push approach), (b) the managerial and organisational approaches for marketing imported fruit and vegetables, and (c) the extent to which competitive performance of overseas shippers are influenced by the export orientation of the shippers concerned together with their managerial and organisational approaches. These issues of international trade have been largely ignored as most studies concentrate on manufactured products. Based on an investigation of data obtained from a sample of 18 overseas shippers which represent the chief suppliers of fruit and vegetables to the UK, the results indicate that: (1) There are three main reasons which call for overseas marketing operations of a particular country to be undertaken by marketing export orientated large- sized organisations. These reasons are: (i) Th e fragmentation of the fresh fruit and vegetables industry together with the diversity of sources of supply and the resultant intensity of intra- country and inter- country competition. (ii) The demands of developed markets for high quality specifications, continuity of supply, branded and promoted products coupled with the physical attributes of fresh produce in terms of perishability, seasonality and the difficulty to differentiate as between sources of supply. (iii) Both wholesale and retail markets are dominated by large sized- companies. (2) Overseas marketing exporters have applied managerial and organisational approaches appropriate to meeting both the demands of developed markets and the physical attributes of fresh produce and at the same time have benefited their respective growers. Although this research has been carried out for the UK it has implications for other countries particularly developed countries as well as other types of fresh produce. Additionally, this research work encompasses advice to developing countries and the actions which should be taken to improve their international competitiveness in this area. This is especially pivotal given the fact that they rely quite heavily on exports of this produce as a source of foreign exchange earnings. Further they possess the natural resources to increase supply of these products. These countries could have improved their international competitiveness had they applied the proper managerial and organisational approaches suitable to meeting the requirements of developed markets.