European Journal of Law and Economics | VOL. 37

Food safety and network governance structure of the agri-food system

Publication Date Dec 1, 2013


1 The problem background of food quality and safetyOver the last decades, citizens, consumers and policy makers have become increasinglyconcernedaboutthechallengesrelatedtotheagri-foodsystemsuchasfoodsecurity,foodquality and safety, the free and informed choice of consumers, animal welfare,environmentalprotectionandthemitigationofclimatechange.Troubledbythenegativeexternalities of food production, as well as the occurrence of a great number of incidentsincludingfoodlawoffencesandfraudulentbehaviour,consumersandpolicymakerscallfor more efforts to identify the failures in food markets and mitigate the correspondingcredence quality problems and food risks. Hazards and food quality threats may arise atall levels of the food supply system, and safety precautions and controls may fail due totechnological flaws and human errors or misbehaviours on any of these levels.Since food quality and safety depend on all members of the food supply chain,improving the chain’s quality and safety performance requires collective action andthe design of governance structures which facilitate organizational choices thatovercome the information and coordination problems within the supply chain. Inrelation to the self-organization of food businesses, the general governanceperspective can be related to private contracts and supply chain management. Supplychain management is about providing/sharing resources and aligning the activities ofdifferent supply chain members in order to reduce chain costs and increase chainbenefits that can be distributed among...


Food Safety Supply Chain Food Quality Food Businesses Supply Chain Management Safety Precautions Food Risks Chain Members Food Safety Governance Coordination Problems

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