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Food Safety and Social Capital: A Double Side Connection

  • Valeria Sodano

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    The globalisation of the agri-food system and the growing variety of food products and technologies have made it increasingly difficult for nation-states to regulate food safety and quality practices, giving rise to a shift from public to private governance, essentially in the form of private standards and TPC. The paper suggests that the current shift from public to private intervention calls for a different approach to the analysis of food safety policy, on both descriptive and normative ground. Two different concepts of social capital, one of trust and the other of power, are used in order to assess the welfare effects of the newest trends in food safety policy. Through the lens of social capital it is clear that private standards and TPC are not merely an impartial technical tool able to foster food markets efficiency and safety. Rather they are the means by which powerful actors in the chain discipline people and things in order to accomplish their own objectives

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    File URL: http://www.econ-pol.unisi.it/quaderni/488.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 488.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:488
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    1. Henson, Spencer & Reardon, Thomas, 2005. "Private agri-food standards: Implications for food policy and the agri-food system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 241-253, June.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus Schmidt, 2000. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity – Evidence and Economic Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 403, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Henson, Spencer & Masakure, Oliver & Boselie, David, 2005. "Private food safety and quality standards for fresh produce exporters: The case of Hortico Agrisystems, Zimbabwe," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 371-384, August.
    4. Fernando Balsevich & Julio A. Berdegué & Luis Flores & Denise Mainville & Thomas Reardon, 2003. "Supermarkets and Produce Quality and Safety Standards in Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1147-1154.
    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. Fulponi, Linda, 2006. "Private voluntary standards in the food system: The perspective of major food retailers in OECD countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-13, February.
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