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Traceability in the Canadian Red Meat Sector: Do Consumers Care?

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  • Jill E. Hobbs
  • DeeVon Bailey
  • David L. Dickinson
  • Morteza Haghiri

Abstract

Increased traceability of food and food ingredients through the agri‐food chain has featured in recent industry initiatives in the Canadian livestock sector and is an important facet of the new Canadian Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). While traceability is usually implicitly associated with ensuring food safety and delivering quality assurances, there has been very little economic analysis of the functions of traceability systems and the value that consumers place on traceability assurances. This paper examines the economic incentives for implementing traceability systems in the meat and livestock sector. Experimental auctions are used to assess the willingness to pay of Canadian consumers for a traceability assurance, a food safety assurance, and an on‐farm production method assurance for beef and pork products. Results from these laboratory market experiments provide insights into the relative value for Canadian consumers of traceability and quality assurances. Traceability, in the absence of quality verification, is of limited value to individual consumers. Bundling traceability with quality assurances has the potential to deliver more value. La traçabilité accrue des produits et des ingrédients alimentaires dans la chaîne agro‐alimentaire a été mise en valeur dans les récents projets de l'industrie canadienne du bétail et représente un aspect important du Cadre stratégique pour l'agriculture (CSA). Bien que le concept de traçabilité soit habituellement et implicitement associéà la sécurité et à la qualité alimentaires, très peu d'analyses économiques se sont penchées sur les fonctions des systèmes de traçabilité et sur la valeur que les consommateurs accordent aux garanties de traçabilité. Cet article étudie les stimulants économiques de la mise en œuvre des systèmes de traçabilité dans l'industrie de la viande et du bétail. Des ventes aux enchères expérimentales permettront d'évaluer si les consommateurs canadiens sont prêts à payer pour obtenir une garantie de traçabilité et de sécurité alimentaire ainsi qu'une garantie de méthode de production chez les éleveurs de bœuf et de porc. Les résultats de ces expériences obtenues dans ces marchés de laboratoire fourniront un aperçu de la valeur relative des garanties de traçabilité et de qualité pour les consommateurs canadiens. En l'absence de vérification de la qualité, la traçabilité ne présente que peu de valeur pour les consommateurs. Par contre, une plus grande valeur lui serait accordée si elle était associée à la garantie de la qualité.

Suggested Citation

  • Jill E. Hobbs & DeeVon Bailey & David L. Dickinson & Morteza Haghiri, 2005. "Traceability in the Canadian Red Meat Sector: Do Consumers Care?," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(1), pages 47-65, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:53:y:2005:i:1:p:47-65
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7976.2005.00412.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7976.2005.00412.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fox, John A. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James & Shogren, Jason F., 1994. "Consumer Acceptability of Milk from Cows Treated with Bovine Somatotropin," Staff General Research Papers Archive 702, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Souza Monteiro, Diogo M. & Caswell, Julie A., 2004. "The Economics Of Implementing Traceability In Beef Supply Chains: Trends In Major Producing And Trading Countries," Working Paper Series 14521, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    3. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-270, March.
    4. Dickinson, David L. & Bailey, DeeVon, 2002. "Meat Traceability: Are U.S. Consumers Willing To Pay For It?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 1-17, December.
    5. Dermot J. Hayes & Jason F. Shogren & Seung Youll Shin & James B. Kliebenstein, 1995. "Valuing Food Safety in Experimental Auction Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(1), pages 40-53.
    6. Roxanne Clemens, 2003. "Meat Traceability and Consumer Assurance in Japan," Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) Publications (archive only) 03-mbp5, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    7. David Dickinson & DeeVon Bailey, 2003. "Willingness-to-Pay for Information: Experimental Evidence on Product Traceability from the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., and Japan," Working Papers 2003-12, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. John D. Lawrence, 2002. "Quality Assurance "Down Under": Market Access and Product Differentiation," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 02-mbp1, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    10. John D. Lawrence, 2002. "Quality Assurance "Down Under": Market Access and Product Differentiation," Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) Publications (archive only) 02-mbp1, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    11. Golan, Elise H. & Crissoff, Barry & Kuchler, Fred & Nelson, Kenneth B. & Price, Gregory K. & Calvin, Linda, 2003. "Traceability in the US Food Supply: Dead End or Superhighway?," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 1-4.
    12. Jill E. Hobbs, 2004. "Information asymmetry and the role of traceability systems," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 397-415.
    13. Liddell, Sterling & Bailey, DeeVon, 2001. "Market Opportunities And Threats To The U.S. Pork Industry Posed By Traceability Systems," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-16.
    14. Roxanne Clemens, 2003. "Meat Traceability and Consumer Assurance in Japan," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 03-mbp5, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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