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Quality assurance mechanisms in agrifood: the case of the Spanish fresh meat sector

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  • Manuel Gonzalez-Diaz
  • Marta Fernandez Barcala
  • Benito Arrunada

Abstract

The largest fresh meat brand names in Spain are analysed here to study how quality is signalled in the agricultural and food industries and how the underlying quality-assurance organisations work. We obtain two main results. First, organisational form varies according to the specialisation of the brand name. Geographical indicators, which focus on achieving high organoleptic product attributes, rely on market contracting with individual producers because it provides stronger incentives for sustained quality improvement. In contrast, private brands rely more on hierarchy, taking advantage of its superiority in solving coordination problems. Second, the seemingly redundant coexistence of several quality indicators for a given product is explained in efficiency terms. Multiple brands are shown to be complementary, given their specialisation in guaranteeing different attributes of the product.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Inderscience Enterprises Ltd in its journal Int. J. of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology.

Volume (Year): 2 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3/4 ()
Pages: 361-382

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Handle: RePEc:ids:ijarge:v:2:y:2003:i:3/4:p:361-382

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Web page: http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=1

Related research

Keywords: agriculture; cobranding; contracts; quality assurance; vertical integration; fresh meat; Spain.;

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  1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  2. Blois, K J, 1972. "Vertical Quasi-Integration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 253-72, July.
  3. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  4. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  5. Monteverde, Kirk & Teece, David J, 1982. "Appropriable Rents and Quasi-Vertical Integration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 321-28, October.
  6. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  7. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  9. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
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Cited by:
  1. Innes, Brian G. & Kerr, William A. & Hobbs, Jill E., 2008. "International Product Differentiation Through a Country Brand: An Economic Analysis of National Branding as a Marketing Strategy for Agricultural Products," Trade Policy Briefs 43470, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
  2. Alessandro Banterle & Stefanella Stranieri, 2013. "Sustainability Standards and the Reorganization of Private Label Supply Chains: A Transaction Cost Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(12), pages 5272-5288, December.

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