Consumer demand for quality attributes such as organic production and animal welfare underlie demands for new policies that impact the agricultural sector including opportunities for U.S. exports. Increasingly, European governments are looking towards traceability as a process to ensure the safety and quality of food. A large number of third party certification schemes (with varying roles for government) have been established in Europe. This study provides an overview of the role of quality management systems in the EU food sector.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: A large number of third party certification schemes (with varying roles for government) have been established in Europe. The study will provide an overview of the role of quality management systems in the EU food sector. <P>
APPROACH: A typological framework is developed to understand the role of quality management systems in the EU food sector. Existing programs for livestock and meat products in Britian and Germany are catalogued in order to identify common traits.
PROGRESS: 2004/10 TO 2005/09 <br/>
A workshop on European Union Food Regulations, Private Standards, and Global Trade was conduced on November 3, 2005. The one day workshop brought together experts from the European Union and the US to examine the new EU regulations on food safety standards and the EU tendency toward process-based standards potentially creating a widening gap with U.S. product-based food regulations. The workshop also addressed how these new regulations and the emergence of private standards are addressing the increasingly important issues of quality control, process verification, labeling, and traceability in the food system. A prominent feature of the workshop was the emphasis placed on the emergence of private-based standards--an increasingly important feature of the new EU food regulatory landscape. Another issue addressed by several economists is the cross-border effects, the implications of changing retailer buying behavior on trade patterns and the conditions under which standards promote or inhibit trade. An important issue raised is how these trends within the EU and the on-going efforts by many developing countries to replicate EU regulations might affect US food industry exports.