Third-Party Certification in Food Market Chains: Are You Being Served?
Recent facts involving food products and their effects on consumers' health have amplified risk and uncertainty in their markets. A new practice has emerged as an attempt to deal with such problems, the so-called third-party certification (TPC). In the perspective of consumers, TPC is supposed to give transparency and legitimacy concerning food safety. But TPC has become increasingly subject to encapsulation by big retailers. By combining institutional (Veblenian) and evolutionary (Schumpeterian-Penrosean) theoretical elements related to the behavior and interaction between firms and consumers, we attempt to provide an overview of how such an encapsulation process takes place.
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