Quality assurance mechanisms in agrifood: The case of the Spanish fresh meat sector
The largest fresh meat brand names in Spain are analyzed here to study how quality is signaled in agribusiness and how the underlying quality -assurance organizations work. Results show, first, that organizational form varies according to the specialization of the brand name. Publicly-controlled brand names are grounded on market contracting with individual producers, providing stronger incentives. In contrast, private brands rely more on hierarchy, taking advantage of its superiority in solving specific coordination problems. Second, the seemingly redundant coexistence of several quality indicators for a given product is explained in efficiency terms. Multiple brands are shown to be complementary, given their specialization in guaranteeing different attributes of the product.
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