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Economic determinants of food safety controls in supply of retailer own-branded products in United Kingdom


  • Spencer Henson

    (Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading, 4 Earley Gate, Whiteknights Rd., PO Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, United Kingdom)

  • James Northen

    (Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading, 4 Earley Gate, Whiteknights Rd., PO Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, United Kingdom)


Whilst major multiple food retailers in the UK have gained commercial advantage from increased sales of own-branded food products, this trend has exposed them to greater risks of product failure. In a bid to manage these risks, multiple food retailers have implemented complex and very costly food safety control systems in the procurement of own-branded products. Using a transaction costs framework, the paper suggests that multiple food retailers have encouraged the development of third party agencies as institutions through which the costs associated with food safety controls can be reduced, whilst maintaining an acceptable risk of product failure. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Spencer Henson & James Northen, 1998. "Economic determinants of food safety controls in supply of retailer own-branded products in United Kingdom," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 113-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:14:y:1998:i:2:p:113-126 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6297(199803/04)14:2<113::AID-AGR4>3.0.CO;2-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-361, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kareem, Olayinka Idowu, 2016. "Food safety regulations and fish trade: Evidence from European Union-Africa trade relations," Journal of Commodity Markets, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 18-25.
    2. Michael Ollinger & Danna Moore, 2009. "The Direct and Indirect Costs of Food-Safety Regulation," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 247-265, June.
    3. Henson, Spencer & Caswell, Julie, 1999. "Food safety regulation: an overview of contemporary issues," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 589-603, December.
    4. Bredahl, Maury E. & Normile, Mary Anne, 2001. "Trade Impacts Of Voluntary Quality Standards For Livestock Products," International Trade in Livestock Products Symposium, January 18-19, 2001, Auckland, New Zealand 14563, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    5. Elena Fagotto, 2014. "Private roles in food safety provision: the law and economics of private food safety," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 83-109, February.
    6. Levidow, L. & Bijman, J., 2002. "Farm inputs under pressure from the European food industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 31-45, February.
    7. Li, Kai & Zhou, Jie-hong & Liang, Qiao & Huang, Zuhui, 2015. "Food safety controls and governance structure varieties in China's vegetable and fruit sector," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212046, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Sven Anders & Diogo Souza-Monteiro & Elodie Rouviere, 2010. "Competition and Credibility of Private Third-party Certification in International Food Supply," Post-Print hal-01323238, HAL.
    9. Noelke, Corinna M. & Caswell, Julie A., 2000. "A Model Of The Implementation Of Quality Management Systems For Credence Attributes," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21874, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Anders, Sven M. & Souza Monteiro, Diogo M. & Rouviere, Elodie, 2007. "Objectiveness in the Market for Third-Party Certification: Does market structure matter?," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7894, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith K. & Henson, Spencer J., 2004. "Quantifying The Impact Of Economic Incentives On Firms' Food Safety Responsiveness: The Case Of Red Meat And Poultry Processing Sector In Canada," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20419, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Michida, Etsuyo & Vu, Hoang Nam & Suzuki, Aya, 2015. "Emergence of Asian GAPs and its relationship to global G.A.P," IDE Discussion Papers 507, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    13. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.
    14. Benoît Desmarchelier & Eddy S. Fang, 2016. "Social Media and the Diffusion of Information: A Computational Experiment on the Emergence of Food Scares," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 559-583, November.
    15. van Haaster, F. & Kleynhans, T.E., 2002. "Decision Tree Modelling To Support Investment Decisions On Flower Production For The Northern Hemisphere," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 41(1), March.
    16. Manning, Louise & Soon, Jan Mei, 2014. "Developing systems to control food adulteration," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 23-32.
    17. Jan Mei Soon & Richard N. Baines, 2013. "Public and Private Food Safety Standards: Facilitating or Frustrating Fresh Produce Growers?," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, January.
    18. Eric Giraud-Héraud & Cristina Grazia & Abdelhakim Hammoudi, 2012. "Explaining the Emergence of Private Standards in Food Supply Chains," Working Papers hal-00749345, HAL.
    19. Olayinka Idowu Kareem, 2014. "The European Union Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Africa’s Exports," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/98, European University Institute.
    20. Mainville, Denise Y. & Zylbersztajn, Decio & Farina, Elizabeth M.M.Q. & Reardon, Thomas, 2005. "Determinants of retailers' decisions to use public or private grades and standards: Evidence from the fresh produce market of Sao Paulo, Brazil," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 334-353, June.
    21. Ollinger, Michael & Moore, Danna L., 2009. "The Interplay of Regulation and Marketing Incentives in Providing Food Safety," Economic Research Report 55837, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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