Quality improvement in food value chains offers both opportunities and challenges for farmers in Africa. This chapter introduces the key concepts that are used in the studies presented in this book. It also provides a short description of each of the chapters. Quality is an elusive concept. It has a different meaning for each of the different value chain actors involved in producing, processing, trading and consuming food products. Some of these quality preferences can easily be measured, others are much more difficult to detect. This has implications for monitoring and control, such as in quality assurance systems, but also for providing proper economic incentives for each of the value chain actors. Finally, it has implications for the alignment of quality preferences throughout the value chain. The latter is important because the opportunities for quality improvement can only be understood by analysing the chain as a whole and assessing the motives and capabilities of all chain actors. In this chapter we also explain the interdisciplinary perspective we take on studying quality improvement and innovation. As quality improvement is a type of innovation process, the literature on innovation processes and innovation systems can be used for better understanding the options and constraints for quality upgrading in food chains in developing countries. Based on the recognition that innovation processes involve multiple actors, at multiple levels and engaged in multiple activities, at the end of the chapter we present the co-innovation.
|Title of host publication||Quality and innovation in food Chains|
|Subtitle of host publication||Lessons and insights from Africa|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publisher||Wageningen Academic Publishers|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|