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The Reliability of Certification: Quality Labels as a Consumer Policy Tool

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  • Gabriele Jahn

    ()

  • Matthias Schramm

    ()

  • Achim Spiller

    ()

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    Abstract

    Given the large number of certification systems in the food industry, it is surprising that there are only a few research approaches to the economics of certification. Certification schemes are used to ensure marketing claims for unobservable quality attributes. Under asymmetric information, process-oriented quality characteristics such as organic farming, animal welfare, or fair trade raise the question of mislabelling. In the long run, only a reliable control procedure can reduce the risk of food scandals. The article presents a model which includes several starting points to enhance the efficiency of certification systems and the corresponding labels. On the whole, tendencies towards price wars on the certification market and considerable differences in performance reveal the necessity of institutional changes. Strategies for reducing auditors’ dependence, intensifying liability, increasing reputation effects, and minimizing audit costs are suggested. Finally, policy implications for public and private monitoring are discussed. Copyright Springer 2005

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10603-004-7298-6
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Consumer Policy.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (December)
    Pages: 53-73

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:28:y:2005:i:1:p:53-73

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100283

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    Cited by:
    1. Bahlmann, Jan & Spiller, Achim, 2008. "The Relationship between Supply Chain Coordination and Quality Assurance Systems: A Case Study Approach on the German Meat Sector," 110th Seminar, February 18-22, 2008, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 49768, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Schulze, Holger & Spiller, Achim, 2006. "Checklist Governance? Zur Prufungsqualität Von Zertifizierungssystemen Im Agribusiness," 46th Annual Conference, Giessen, Germany, October 4-6, 2006 14957, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    3. Zorn, Alexander & Lippert, Christian & Dabbert, Stephan, 2012. "Zur Nichteinhaltung Von Vorschriften Des Ökologischen Landbaus In Deutschland Und In Der Schweiz – Statistische Analyse Einzelbetrieblicher Daten," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 133414, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    4. Gawron, Jana-Christina & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2006. "Die Bewertung Des International Food Standard Durch Unternehmen Der Ernahrungsindustrie: Ergebnisse Einer Empirischen Untersuchung," 46th Annual Conference, Giessen, Germany, October 4-6, 2006 14963, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    5. Friederike Albersmeier & Holger Schulze & Achim Spiller, 2009. "Evaluation and reliability of the organic certification system: perceptions by farmers in Latin America," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 311-324.
    6. Fabrice Larceneux & Florence Benoît-Moreau & Valérie Renaudin, 2012. "Why Might Organic Labels Fail to Influence Consumer Choices? Marginal Labelling and Brand Equity Effects," Post-Print hal-00656485, HAL.
    7. Lueth, Maren & Spiller, Achim & Schramm, Matthias, 2006. "Branding in the red meat sector - A conjoint study from Germany," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10065, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Janssen, Meike & Hamm, Ulrich, 2011. "Certification Logos in the Market for Organic Food: What are Consumers Willing to Pay for Different Logos?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114454, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. 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.
    10. Hugh Campbell & Anne Murcott & Angela MacKenzie, 2011. "Kosher in New York City, halal in Aquitaine: challenging the relationship between neoliberalism and food auditing," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 67-79, February.
    11. Fabrice Larceneux & Florence Benoit-Moreau & Valérie Renaudin, 2012. "Why Might Organic Labels Fail to Influence Consumer Choices? Marginal Labelling and Brand Equity Effects," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 85-104, March.
    12. Jérôme Ballet & Aurélie Carimentrand, 2010. "Fair Trade and the Depersonalization of Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 317-330, April.
    13. Albersmeier, Friederike & Schulze, Holger & Spiller, Achim, 2007. "System Dynamics in Quality Certifications: Development of an Audit Quality Controlling System," 2007 1st Forum, February 15-17, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria 6585, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    14. Eden, Sally & Bear, Christopher & Walker, Gordon, 2008. "The sceptical consumer? Exploring views about food assurance," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 624-630, December.
    15. Padilla Bravo, Carlos Antonio & Spiller, Achim & Villalobos, Pablo, 2012. "Are Organic Growers Satisfied with the Certification System? A Causal Analysis of Farmers’ Perceptions in Chile," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(4).
    16. Fares, M'hand & Rouviere, Elodie, 2010. "The implementation mechanisms of voluntary food safety systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 412-418, October.
    17. Gawron, Jana-Christina & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2006. "The international food standard: Bureaucratic burden or helpful management instrument in global markets? Empirical results from the German food industry," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10062, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. Gaëlle Balineau & Ivan Dufeu, 2010. "Are Fair Trade Goods Credence Goods? A New Proposal, with French Illustrations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 331-345, April.

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