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Using Farm Assurance Schemes To Signal Food Safety To Multiple Food Retailers In The U.K


  • Northen, James R.


It is argued that privately run farm assurance schemes in the U.K. have been developed predominantly to signal the presence of desired level of food safety (and other credence) attributes to domestic multiple food retailers. It is hypothesized that these food retailers will only buy 'farm assured' meat from abattoirs, therefore abattoirs must buy and process 'farm assured' livestock. Other factors, including abattoir size, procurement policy, level of processing and hygiene levels, are also hypothesized to affect the probability of an abattoir selling meat to large multiple retailers. The hypotheses are tested through a survey of abattoirs in the United Kingdom and a logistic regression is used to assess significance. It is found that buying farm assured livestock is a highly significant positive factor in selling meat to large multiple retailers; in addition, the procurement policy of abattoirs (affecting traceability of product) and abattoir size are also found to be significant determinants of the probability of this trade. The empirical evidence supports the hypothesis that industry-led farm assurance schemes are indeed used by large multiple food retailers as a credible signal of food safety (and other credence) attributes.

Suggested Citation

  • Northen, James R., 2001. "Using Farm Assurance Schemes To Signal Food Safety To Multiple Food Retailers In The U.K," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 4(01).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ifaamr:34363

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jill E. Hobbs & William A. Kerr, 1992. "Costs of monitoring food safety and vertical coordination in agribusiness: What can be learned from the British Food Safety Act 1990?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 575-584.
    2. Kathleen Segerson, 1999. "Mandatory versus voluntary approaches to food safety," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 53-70.
    3. 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.
    4. Segerson, Kathleen, 1998. "Mandatory vs. Voluntary Approaches to Food Safety," Research Reports 25188, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fares, M'hand & Rouviere, Elodie, 2010. "The implementation mechanisms of voluntary food safety systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 412-418, October.
    2. Berges, Miriam & Casellas, Karina & Rodriguez, Ricardo & Errea, Damian, 2015. "Willingness to Pay for Quality Attributes of Fresh Beef Implications on the Retail Marketing," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211330, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Miguel Carriquiry & Bruce A. Babcock, 2007. "Reputations, Market Structure, and the Choice of Quality Assurance Systems in the Food Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 12-23.
    4. Berges, Miriam & Casellas, Karina & Rodríguez, Ricardo & Errea, Damián, 2015. "Willingness to pay for quality attributes of fresh beef. Implications on the retail marketing," Nülan. Deposited Documents 2317, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Centro de Documentación.
    5. Garcia Martinez, Marian & Poole, Nigel, 2004. "The development of private fresh produce safety standards: implications for developing Mediterranean exporting countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 229-255, June.


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