We review the literature on crop-related agri-chains. Contrary to existing reviews, we focus on the integration, or lack thereof, of harvesting and processing planning and related inventory control issues. Since crops are particularly prone to deterioration after harvesting and before processing, integrated planning is essential to minimize food waste and maximize food quality. Our study reveals that most authors have focused on either harvesting or processing planning and less on their integration. If integration is considered, typically not all parts of a chain are incorporated. Planning of harvesting and processing is studied from operations and from agricultural economics, but these fields hardly relate. Moreover, although relevant aspects of both harvesting and processing planning have been discussed, (integrated) models reflect reality to a limited extend and there is a lack of empirical testing. Further research should develop more comprehensive, realistic models. In order to apply such models empirically, heuristic solution approaches should also be considered.
- Food characteristics
- Harvesting and processing planning
- Inventory control