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Quality assurance mechanisms in agrifood: the case of the Spanish fresh meat sector

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  • Manuel Gonzalez-Diaz
  • Marta Fernandez Barcala
  • Benito Arrunada

Abstract

The largest fresh meat brand names in Spain are analysed here to study how quality is signalled in the agricultural and food industries and how the underlying quality-assurance organisations work. We obtain two main results. First, organisational form varies according to the specialisation of the brand name. Geographical indicators, which focus on achieving high organoleptic product attributes, rely on market contracting with individual producers because it provides stronger incentives for sustained quality improvement. In contrast, private brands rely more on hierarchy, taking advantage of its superiority in solving coordination problems. Second, the seemingly redundant coexistence of several quality indicators for a given product is explained in efficiency terms. Multiple brands are shown to be complementary, given their specialisation in guaranteeing different attributes of the product.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Gonzalez-Diaz & Marta Fernandez Barcala & Benito Arrunada, 2003. "Quality assurance mechanisms in agrifood: the case of the Spanish fresh meat sector," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(3/4), pages 361-382.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijarge:v:2:y:2003:i:3/4:p:361-382
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Innes, Brian G. & Kerr, William A. & Hobbs, Jill E., 2007. "International Product Differentiation through a Country Brand: An Economic Analysis of National Branding as a Marketing Strategy for Agricultural Products," Commissioned Papers 6131, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agriculture; cobranding; contracts; quality assurance; vertical integration; fresh meat; Spain.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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