Public and Private Encounters
Edited by Tetty Havinga, Frans van Waarden and Donal Casey
Chapter 9: Food quality through networks in the European wine industry
In recent times, state regulation concerning food safety and quality has been progressively replaced by self-or co-regulatory arrangements requiring that companies, within the whole food chain or in a given phase, implement their own food safety and quality systems. This shift, encouraged by States that rely on higher compliance with private regulation, has triggered the adoption of private standards drafted by private firms within the food chain. These standards mainly relate to food safety, but they can also focus on food quality standards, which move from the default level defined by ‘safe’ products towards a higher one, where the decision concerning the type of products and the methods of processing can also become an added value embedded in the final product. In this latter case, the standards usually go beyond the requirements established by public standards as, for instance, requirements for more stringent or more extensive rules concerning the selection of raw materials are defined. Additionally, quality standards may extend vertically, controlling either upper or lower layers in the value chain.
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