Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to present an integrated methodology for identifying effective economic incentives to enhance quality performance by mango producers in Costa Rica. Design/methodology/approach – The study analyses the relationship between intrinsic product quality attributes and socio‐economic characteristics of mango producers in the Central Pacific zone of Costa Rica. Data are derived from a representative sample of 35 mango producers. A mango quality index for local and export market outlet is constructed and quality performance is subsequently related to farm‐household characteristics and contractual delivery parameters. Categorical regression methods are used to identify the relationships between farm‐household characteristics, production system features, marketing relationships and quality attributes weighted by consumers' preferences. Findings – Key attributes of the quality index – related to dimensions of ripeness, appearance and variability – appear to be strongly related to farm‐household characteristics like the producers' age and experience, input use intensity and family labour availability. Preferences for certain contractual regimes and marketing arrangements give rise to differentiation in quality performance. Long‐term delivery relationships and non‐price attributes appear as key factors for quality improvement in mango. Research limitation/implications – Although the study is based on a modest sample, the significant relationships between the constructs in the model are found to be sufficiently robust. Originality/value – The research approach enables the estimation of a model where quality performance is related to technical and institutional aspects related to the organisation of mango delivery chain.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 18, 2008
Keywords: Contracts; Prices; Fruits; Costa Rica