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Firms' strategies and voluntary traceability: an empirical analysis in Italian food chains


  • Stranieri, Stefanella
  • Banterle, Alessandro


In international food markets, voluntary traceability systems have increased their role in guaranteeing high safety and quality standards for the consumer. Such systems are also among the strategies firms employ to differentiate products and strengthen competitive advantage in both the national and international market. Voluntary traceability has significant implications on the organisation of economic relationships within food supply chains. This paper focuses on this aspect and analyses the effects of voluntary traceability on vertical co- ordination using a transaction cost perspective. The analysis makes reference to the Italian situation where the national standard organisation has introduced standard rules for voluntary traceability (UNI 10939; ISO 22005 at the international level). A survey was conducted by questionnaire to assess changes in transaction key factors (degree of asset specificity, uncertainty and frequency) and transaction costs after the introduction of voluntary traceability. The sample represent s all Italian firms certified UNI 10939, and consists of 190 firms. Respondents are 146. Factorial and Cluster Analyses were applied to highlight groups of firms with similar features. The empirical results reveal four different clusters in terms of a vertical reorganisation of transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Stranieri, Stefanella & Banterle, Alessandro, 2006. "Firms' strategies and voluntary traceability: an empirical analysis in Italian food chains," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10091, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae98:10091

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Golan, Elise H. & Krissoff, Barry & Kuchler, Fred & Calvin, Linda & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Price, Gregory K., 2004. "Traceability In The U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory And Industry Studies," Agricultural Economics Reports 33939, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Jill E. Hobbs, 2004. "Information asymmetry and the role of traceability systems," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 397-415.
    3. Holleran, Erin & Bredahl, Maury E. & Zaibet, Lokman, 1999. "Private incentives for adopting food safety and quality assurance," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 669-683, December.
    4. Banterle, Alessandro & Stranieri, Stefanella & Baldi, Lucia, 2006. "Voluntary Traceability and Transaction Costs: An Empirical Analysis in the Italian Meat Processing Supply Chain," 99th Seminar, February 8-10, 2006, Bonn, Germany 7722, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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