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The consequences of voluntary traceability system for supply chain relationships. An application of transaction cost economics


  • Banterle, Alessandro
  • Stranieri, Stefanella


This paper analyses the effects of voluntary traceability on vertical relationships within food supply chains using a transaction cost perspective. The analysis makes reference to the Italian situation where the national standard organization has introduced a private standard for traceability that provides a higher degree of information associated with the individual product than the European mandatory traceability system. A survey was conducted by questionnaire to assess changes in transaction characteristics, costs and governance after the introduction of voluntary traceability. The sample represents all Italian firms applying this standard. Factorial and cluster analyses were applied to find the different reorganizations of transactions. The results highlight an increase in asset specificity and a decrease in the uncertainty level throughout the supply chains. The introduction of voluntary traceability shows increased vertical coordination for firms that previously used oral agreements and variation in transactions conditions for firms using contracts. Instead vertically integrated firms do not reveal any variation in the governance of transactions as they are already internally safeguarded.

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  • Banterle, Alessandro & Stranieri, Stefanella, 2008. "The consequences of voluntary traceability system for supply chain relationships. An application of transaction cost economics," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 560-569, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:560-569

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Banterle, Alessandro & Souza Monteiro, Diogo M. & Stranieri, Stefanella, 2009. "Does traceability play a role in retailer’s strategies for private labels?," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 50933, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Ge, Houtian & Nolan, James & Gray, Richard & Goetz, Stephan & Han, Yicheol, 2016. "Supply chain complexity and risk mitigation – A hybrid optimization–simulation model," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 228-238.
    3. Danielle Galliano & Luis Orozco, 2011. "Les déterminants industriels et spatiaux du processus d'adoption de technologies : Le cas des systèmes de traçabilité dans les firmes industrielles françaises," Géographie, économie, société, Lavoisier, vol. 13(2), pages 135-163.
    4. Alessia Cavaliere & Massimo Peri & Alessandro Banterle, 2016. "Vertical Coordination in Organic Food Chains: A Survey Based Analysis in France, Italy and Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-12, June.
    5. 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 1-17, December.
    6. Saak, Alexander E., 2016. "Traceability and reputation in supply chains," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 149-162.
    7. Pinto, Luís Fernando Guedes & Gardner, Toby & McDermott, Constance L. & Ayub, Karim Omar Lara, 2014. "Group certification supports an increase in the diversity of sustainable agriculture network–rainforest alliance certified coffee producers in Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 59-64.
    8. Stranieri, Stefanella & Banterle, Alessandro, 2015. "Voluntary traceability standards: which is the role of risk?," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212058, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Dervillé, Marie & Allaire, Gilles, 2014. "Change of competition regime and regional innovative capacities: Evidence from dairy restructuring in France," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 347-360.
    10. Danielle Galliano & Luis Orozco, 2013. "New Technologies and Firm Organization: The Case of Electronic Traceability Systems in French Agribusiness," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 22-47, January.
    11. Fritz, Melanie & Schiefer, Gerhard, 2009. "Tracking, tracing, and business process interests in food commodities: A multi-level decision complexity," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 317-329, February.
    12. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:6:p:130-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Heyder, Matthias & Theuvsen, Ludwig & Hollmann-Hespos, Thorsten, 2012. "Investments in tracking and tracing systems in the food industry: A PLS analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 102-113.
    14. Joëlle Morana, 2016. "Barriers and dangers of traceability," Post-Print halshs-01599412, HAL.


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