The provision of food safety is nowadays one of the major imperatives for public authorities worldwide. The most recent food sanitary crisis (E.coli) has drawn attention to the strong interdependences among Economies with respect to food safety. Indeed, the sanitary risk for consumers in a given country also depends on food safety regulations developed beyond geographical borders. In addition, a sanitary crisis may cause revenue losses not only for the offending producers, but also for producers in countries that are not directly concerned. The major food sanitary crises of the nineties (BSE crisis, dioxin, salmonella, etc.) have resulted in both a tightening of public regulations and in the raising of private standards.
Notably, European food safety regulation has been progressively strengthened (e.g. via the tightening of the maximum admitted levels of contaminants in agrifood products), with emphasis on the provision of safe imports from third countries. The strengthening of European legislation, justified by the necessity to assure European consumers’ health, has been source of controversial that relates to the wider debate on the sanitary/economic legitimacy of food safety regulation. Hence, developing countries (DC) often point at these regulations by considering that their successive strengthening, notably with respect to those set by the Codex Alimentarius, implies illegitimate restrictions to the access of their products to the European markets. Hence, a wide economic literature attempts shows that food safety norms may act as non-tariff barriers and significantly hinder developing countries’ exports.
Given these premises, our Editorial Proposal addresses the issue of food safety regulation at international level, by focusing on the role of the supply chain structure and organization and on food chain actors’ strategies, and the related effects on both consumers’ health and developing countries’ access to the international market. Several factors, which are often neglected in existing studies, are taken into account as crucial determinants of both food safety regulation effectiveness and of developing countries’ access to the international market and, more in general, on international supply chains’ performance, such as structural and organizational characteristics of domestic production and export systems, downstream (commercialization and import stages) structure and organization, the nature on vertical relationship among upstream (DC’s producers/exporters) and downstream (importers, retailers) supply chain actors, and the role of the strategic behaviour of supply chain participants.
1 Chapter 1. Food safety standards at international level: content and economic impact.
1.1 “Multilateral governance framework for food safety regulation”, Laurian J. Unnevehr (Food Economics Division Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service).
1.2 “Private agrifood standards”, Linda Fulponi (Agricultural trade and markets division of the Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD).
1.3 “Public regulation, private standards, and market structure: recent theoretical developments”, Eric Giraud-Héraud (INRA, Paris), Cristina Grazia (University of Bologna), Abdelhakim Hammoudi (INRA, Paris).
2 Chapter 2. Demand for food safety: the role of consumer behaviour.
2.1 “Consumer behaviour towards sanitary food outbreaks: an experimental approach”, Eric Giraud-Héraud (INRA, Paris) and Alexandra Seabra Pinto (INIAP, Portugal).
2.2 “Consumers’ food safety risk perception”, Klaus G. Grunert (Aarhus University, Department of Business Administration).
3 Chapter 3. Food safety regulations in emerging and developing countries
3.1 “Impact of Food safety standards on organization structure of production system in developing countries: Evidence from Senegal”, Jo Swinnen (Professor of Development Economics, K.U. Leuven).
3.2 “Food safety regulation in Turkey”, Sedef Akgungor (Professor, Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Business, Department of Economics).
3.3 “Food Safety regulation, and private standards in China”, Helen H. Jensen (Iowa State University).
4 Chapter 4. Food safety standards and export supply chain organization
4.1 “Dynamics of buyers’ requirements and impact on developing countries’ export supply chains”, Spencer Henson (Full Professor in food economics, University of Guelph, member of the International Food Economy Research group).
4.2 “Food safety standards and international trade: structure, organization, and strategies of developing countries’ export supply chains”, Tsunehiro Otsuki (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University).
5 Chapter 5. The role of global agrifood supply chains’ strategies.
5.1 “Food safety governance by global retailers: supply chain structures and strategies for food safety”, Tetty Havinga (Associate Professor at the Institute for the Sociology of Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands).
5.2 “The role of supermarkets in the improvement of food quality in developing countries”, Thomas Reardon (Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University).
5.3 “The control of sanitary risk associated with developed countries’ imports: the role of importers”, Elodie Rouvière (Maître de Conférences AgroParisTech, Montpellier) and Karine Latouche (INRA, Nantes).
General Conclusions (Editors)