There are many choices that can be made in the handling protocols of avocado fruit, as well as numerous steps in the supply chain. The layout of the manual is based on each step in the supply chain, so that operators within that step can easily access suggested protocols. The manual also uses the principles embedded in quality management systems such as ISO systems, where each step in the supply chain takes account of the previous operations as well as the following operations and is able to flag and feedback and forward any quality non-conformity.
The manual is not designed to replace detailed packing house operations protocols or the protocols required for food safety certifications or specialized market place certifications but could be used to aid these requirements.
The purpose of the manual is to flag and emphasize issues of particular importance to the maintenance of fruit quality through the entire distribution chain so that operators can include critical aspects in their own detailed operations protocols. It will also help to remove ambiguity, where different companies may be using different protocols within the same distribution chain.
Where specific defects are noted, causes and potential mitigating treatments are included as an aid to identifying deficiencies and taking remedial action within the supply chain.