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Understanding Grades and Standards: and how to apply them

Author

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  • Giovannucci, Daniele
  • Reardon, Thomas

Abstract

With the expanding globalization of trade, grades and standards help to set the ‘rules of the game’ and their implications for developing countries are becoming increasingly relevant. While they are clearly important to trade, their formation and utilization is also undergoing a shift from being neutral market lubricants to also being tools of product differentiation. This implies a fundamental shift in the role of standards from just reducing transaction costs of commodity market participants, to serving as strategic tools for market penetration, system coordination, quality and safety assurance, brand complementing, and product niche definition. The issues of who is forming standards, their privatization, motivations, and the impacts on various market participants and poor people must all inform the strategic responses to the changes in the roles and nature of standards. The definition of their usefulness and value goes beyond the sometimes artificial distinctions between quality and safety to more current distinctions between process and characteristics. All of these distinctions are predicted to become more relevant than ever as industries and governments, even in the most developed countries, are faced with a new sort of food security issue. In terms of international trade, standards are becoming the hot topic of political economics in much the same way that tariffs were in the 1990s, with profound implications for regional and international agreements, particularly in terms of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade(TBT).

Suggested Citation

  • Giovannucci, Daniele & Reardon, Thomas, 2000. "Understanding Grades and Standards: and how to apply them," MPRA Paper 13549, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13549
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13549/1/MPRA_paper_13549.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Jensen, Helen H., 1999. "Economic Implications of Using HACCP As a Food Safety Regulatory Standard (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1631, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Stephenson, Sherry M., 1997. "Standards and conformity assessment as nontariff barriers to trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1826, The World Bank.
    3. Eileen O. van Ravenswaay & John P. Hoehn, 1996. "The Theoretical Benefits of Food Safety Policies: A Total Economic Value Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1291-1296.
    4. David A. Hennessy, 1995. "Microeconomics of Agricultural Grading: Impacts on the Marketing Channel," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(4), pages 980-989.
    5. Jones, Eluned & Hill, Lowell D., 1994. "Re-engineering Marketing Policies in Food and Agriculture: Issues and Alternatives for Grain Grading Policies," Re-Engineering Marketing Policies for Food and Agriculture - FAMC 1994 Conference 265981, Food and Agricultural Marketing Consortium (FAMC).
    6. Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Jensen, Helen H., 1999. "The economic implications of using HACCP as a food safety regulatory standard," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 625-635, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Varangis, Panos & Siegel, Paul & Giovannucci, Daniele & Lewin, Bryan, 2003. "Dealing with the coffee crisis in Central America - impacts and strategies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2993, The World Bank.
    2. Farina, Elizabeth M.M.Q. & Gutman, Graciela E. & Lavarello, Pablo J. & Nunes, Rubens & Reardon, T., 2005. "Private and public milk standards in Argentina and Brazil," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 302-315, June.
    3. van Tilburg, Aad & Trienekens, Jacques H. & Ruben, Ruerd & van Boekel, Martinus A.J.S., 2007. "Governance for quality management in smallholder-based tropical food chains," 106th Seminar, October 25-27, 2007, Montpellier, France 7932, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Giovannucci, Daniele & Ponte, Stefano, 2005. "Standards as a new form of social contract? Sustainability initiatives in the coffee industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 284-301, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Neetha, Rose C.D. & Kotrakerebasegowda, Umesh, 2012. "Expectations towards Geographical Indications-Empirical Evidence from India," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126324, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:366545 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. World Bank, 2002. "Colombia : Coffee Sector Study 2002," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14436, The World Bank.
    9. 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.
    10. Trienekens, Jacques & Zuurbier, Peter, 2008. "Quality and safety standards in the food industry, developments and challenges," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 107-122, May.
    11. Trienekens, Jacques H. & Willems, Sabine, 2007. "Innovation and Governance in International Food Supply Chains: The Cases of Ghanaian Pineapples and South African Grapes," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Issue 3), pages 1-22.
    12. Giovannucci, Daniele & Koekoek, Freek Jan, 2003. "The State of Sustainable Coffee: A Study of Twelve Major Markets," MPRA Paper 17172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food quality; food safety; public; private; volontary; international trade; poverty issues; barriers to entry; price incentives; market strategies; WTO; Codex;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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