Quality improvements in the melon supply chain (VM21001)
What's it all about?
This investment is developing minimum quality standards for seedless watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew melon to improve consumer acceptance of Australian melons and ultimately drive demand and sales.
This project will model consumer liking according to measurable quality parameters, conduct product sampling for quality assessments and identify opportunities for industry to improve the customer purchase experience. These opportunities may be diverse and encompass on-farm practices (e.g., crop management practices, harvest dates), supply chain practices (e.g., handling and storage practices) or retailer practices (e.g., storage, handling and display).
At the beginning of the project, the quality of melons available to consumers at wholesale and retail will be benchmarked so that any improvements that arise from project activities can be measured.
The overall objective of this project is to develop minimum quality standards for Seedless Watermelon, Rock Melon and Honeydew that, once this project is completed, will help improve the eating quality and consumer demand of Australian melons. The project includes assessing melon quality at wholesale and retail to benchmark the quality of melons currently available to consumers. This benchmark will prove invaluable to demonstrate the expected quality improvements once the maturity standards developed by this project are agreed on and adopted by the key participants in the Australian melon supply chain.
Key activities in the last six months include:
- Wholesale and retail monitoring of melon quality began in August 2022 and will continue until August 2023 to provide 12 full months of data. The project team have already completed more than two thirds of the planned inspections, which is on track with the original project plan.
- The project plan for this 18-month project includes two sets of taste panels. The first set was completed on 18 November 2022 and the second was completed in March 2023. The data from both panels has been combined and an initial analysis has been undertaken.
- Planning for the stakeholder event to agree on new standards will be starting shortly.
Wholesale and retail monitoring of melon quality began in August 2022 and will continue until August 2023 to provide 12 full months of data. As of 30 November 2022, the project team have completed one third of the planned inspections, which is on track with the original project plan.
During the reporting period, the following material has been published:
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Melon Fund