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Food Safety Practices and Costs Under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement


  • Calvin, Linda
  • Jensen, Helen
  • Klonsky, Karen
  • Cook, Roberta


This case study investigates food safety practices and costs for seven firms participating in the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA), formally known as the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement. All firms incorporated additional food safety practices into their food safety plans beyond LGMA requirements, for their own convenience, risk management needs, and/or to satisfy buyer requests. It was difficult to quantify food safety costs; the analysis concentrated on costs for five food safety practices. The cost-share for each practice—the cost of the individual practice divided by the total cost of the five practices—provides insight into the relative cost of food safety practices. The value of the food safety staff (including clerical staff) time in food safety tasks was relatively large—38 percent of the five costs. Another 32 percent of costs was for the food safety time of harvest foremen. Audits accounted for 17 percent, product unharvested due to animal intrusion for 11 percent, and water testing for 2 percent of costs. This analysis can increase understanding of the relative food safety costs for firms under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

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  • Calvin, Linda & Jensen, Helen & Klonsky, Karen & Cook, Roberta, 2017. "Food Safety Practices and Costs Under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement," Economic Information Bulletin 259719, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:259719
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.259719

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Calvin, Linda & Cook, Roberta L. & Denbaly, Mark & Dimitri, Carolyn & Glaser, Lewrene K. & Handy, Charles R. & Jekanowski, Mark D. & Kaufman, Phillip R. & Krissoff, Barry & Thompson, Gary D. & Thornsb, 2001. "U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing: Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues," Agricultural Economic Reports 33915, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Boys, Kathryn A. & Caswell, Julie A. & Hoffmann, Sandra A. & Colarusso, Samantha, 2015. "The Business of Safe Food: An Assessment of the Global Food Safety Certification Industry," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205870, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Cook, Roberta L., 2011. "Fundamental Forces Affecting U.S. Fresh Produce Growers And Marketers," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1-13.
    4. Calvin, Linda, 2007. "Outbreak Linked to Spinach Forces Reassessment of Food Safety Practices," Amber Waves:The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, pages 1-8, June.
    5. Jensen, Helen H. & Pouliot, Sebastien & Wang, Tong & Jay-Russell, Michele T., 2014. "Development of a Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Leafy Green Marketing Agreement Irrigation Water Provisions," Staff General Research Papers Archive 37327, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Paggi, Mechel S. & Yamazaki, Fumiko & Ribera, Luis A. & Knutson, Ronald D. & Anciso, Juan & Palma, Marco A. & Noel, Jay E., 2010. "Comparative Producer Costs Of Gap And Ghp Standards: Can The Playing Field Be Made Level?," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116406, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;
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