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Understanding farmer cooperatives' self-inspection behavior to guarantee agri-product safety in China

Zhou, Jiehong, Yan, Zhen, Li, Kai
Food control 2016 v.59 pp. 320-327
agricultural industry, animals, cooperatives, farmers, food safety, markets, plant products, regression analysis, social environment, toxicity, China
Both global and domestic markets place increasing importance on the quality and safety of food products that are produced in China. The presence of microbial agents, toxic animal and plant products and chemical contamination remain because of the existence of small and dispersed farmers, who are not educated to use agricultural inputs correctly. This inability raises the issue of safety control in the agricultural sector. This study proposes that cooperatives' self-inspection of agricultural products before they enter the market can better organize small farmers to utilize a standardized production and safety management system. Therefore, we attempt to explore the factors that influence farmer cooperatives' self-inspection behavior. An Ordered Logistic Regression Model is employed to estimate the factors that influence cooperatives' choices of inspection frequency. The results show that the respondents expressed a medium to high level of implementing self-inspection but a lower level of concern in testing products by batch. The regression results indicate that subjective norms from the social environment, the perceived behavioral control of managers, ability and rules including input management, production documentation, and social demographic variables, significantly affect cooperatives' self-inspection behavior. The future implementation of safety inspection depends on the extent to which subjective norms, ability, and internal rules can improve agri-product safety in China.