IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Kenyan exports of Nile perch : the impact of food safety standards on an export-oriented supply chain

Listed author(s):
  • Henson, Spencer
  • Mitullah Winnie
Registered author(s):

    Over the past decade, exports of fish and fishery products from developing countries have increased rapidly. However, one of the major challenges facing developing countries in seeking to maintain and expand their share of global markets is stricter food safety requirements in industrialized countries. Kenyan exports of Nile perch to the European Union provide a notable example of efforts to comply with such requirements, overlaid with the necessity to overcome restrictions on trade relating to immediate food safety concerns. Although food safety requirements were evolving in their major markets, most notably the European Union, most Kenyan exporters had made little attempts to upgrade their hygiene standards. Likewise, the legislative framework of food safety controls and facilities at landing sites remained largely unchanged. Both exporters and the Kenyan government were forced to take action when a series of restrictions were applied to exports by the European Union over the period 1997 to 2000. Processors responded by upgrading their hygiene controls, although a number of facilities closed, reflecting significant costs of compliance within the context of excess capacity in the sector. Remaining facilities upgraded their hygiene controls and made efforts to diversify their export base away from the European. Legislation and control mechanisms were also enhanced. Hygiene facilities at landing beaches were improved, but remain the major area of weakness. The Kenyan case illustrates the significant impact that stricter food safety requirements can have on export-oriented supply chains. It also demonstrates how such requirements can exacerbate existing pressures for restructuring and reform, while prevailing supply and capacity issues constrain the manner in which the supply chain is able to respond. In Kenya most of the concerted effort to comply with these requirementswas stimulated by the sudden loss of market access in very much a crisis management mode of operation, illustrating the importance of responding to emerging food safety requirements in a proactive and effective manner.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3349.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3349
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Winnie Mitullah, 2000. "Food Safety Requirements and Food Exports from Developing Countries: The Case of Fish Exports from Kenya to the European Union," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1159-1169.
    2. Dave D. Weatherspoon & Thomas Reardon, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21, pages 333-355, 05.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

    1. Socio-economics of Fisheries and Aquaculture

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3349. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.