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Integrated Agriculture Labelling and consumer information: retailer's strategies and regulatory issues in the European context

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  • Maze, Armelle

Abstract

The development of consumer concerns in the European context about food safety and environmental consequences of farming systems lead to the recent multiplication of private technical specifications to be applied by farmers on the request of large retailers and agro-food firms. These technical specifications on production define what is called Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guidelines, Environmental Management Systems (EMS) or integrated agriculture. However, the lack of harmonized and scientifically based definition of GAP guidelines creates a lot of confusion and difficulties for their implementation by a large number of farmers, but as well regarding consumers information. This paper analyses, based on Transaction Cost Economics (Williamson, 1996, Barzel 2004), the alternatives standard setting strategies developed in the european context in order to solve these impediments. The comparison focuses on the strategies developed by trans-national large retailer associations (EUREP system, BRC) and another option recently set up in France with a labelling regulation on integrated agriculture with a private certification system.

Suggested Citation

  • Maze, Armelle, 2005. "Integrated Agriculture Labelling and consumer information: retailer's strategies and regulatory issues in the European context," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19175, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barrett, H. R. & Browne, A. W. & Harris, P. J. C. & Cadoret, K., 2002. "Organic certification and the UK market: organic imports from developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 301-318, August.
    2. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Hennessy, David A., 1996. "Information Asymmetry As a Reason for Vertical Integration," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10422, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 123-137.
    5. Caswell, Julie A., 1998. "How Labeling of Safety and Process Attributes Affects Markets for Food," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, pages 151-158.
    6. Kindleberger, Charles P, 1983. "Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 377-396.
    7. Mahe, Louis-Pascal, 1997. "Environment and Quality Standards in the WTO: New Protectionism in Agricultural Trade? A European Perspective," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 480-503.
    8. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Standardization and experimentation: Ex ante vs. ex post standardization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 273-290, September.
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    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics;

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