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Integrated Agriculture Labelling and consumer information: retailer's strategies and regulatory issues in the European context

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  • Maze, Armelle
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    Abstract

    The development of consumer concerns in the European context about food safety and environmental consequences of farming systems lead to the recent multiplication of private technical specifications to be applied by farmers on the request of large retailers and agro-food firms. These technical specifications on production define what is called Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guidelines, Environmental Management Systems (EMS) or “integrated agriculture”. However, the lack of harmonized and scientifically based definition of GAP guidelines creates a lot of confusion and difficulties for their implementation by a large number of farmers, but as well regarding consumers information. This paper analyses, based on Transaction Cost Economics (Williamson, 1996, Barzel 2004), the alternatives standard setting strategies developed in the european context in order to solve these impediments. The comparison focuses on the strategies developed by trans-national large retailer associations (EUREP system, BRC) and another option recently set up in France with a labelling regulation on “integrated agriculture” with a private certification system.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19175
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19175.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19175

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    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics;

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    1. Kindleberger, Charles P, 1983. "Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 377-96.
    2. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 123-137, Spring.
    3. Barrett, H. R. & Browne, A. W. & Harris, P. J. C. & Cadoret, K., 2002. "Organic certification and the UK market: organic imports from developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 301-318, August.
    4. Hennessy, David A., 1996. "Information Asymmetry As a Reason for Vertical Integration," Staff General Research Papers 10422, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Mahe, Louis-Pascal, 1997. "Environment and Quality Standards in the WTO: New Protectionism in Agricultural Trade? A European Perspective," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 480-503.
    6. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Standardization and experimentation: Ex ante vs. ex post standardization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 273-290, September.
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