Main content area

Direct intervention or indirect support? The effects of cooperative control measures on farmers’ implementation of quality and safety standards

Zhou, Jiehong, Yang, Zhiying, Li, Kai, Yu, Xiaohua
Food policy 2019 v.86 pp. 101728
agricultural products, control methods, cooperatives, developing countries, farmers, food quality, international trade, pesticide residues, pesticides, process control, safety standards, surveys, world markets
In recent years, labor-intensive agricultural products from developing countries have exhibited inferior performance in international trade due to quality and safety incidents, among which pesticide residue is a major issue. Aiming to improve food quality and safety in the context of cooperatives, we introduced three categories of control measures: outcome control, process control and social control. Based on the Pre-Harvest Interval Standard (PHIS), we selected three indices, farmers’ implementation rate of PHIS, absolute distance to PHIS and relative distance to PHIS, to evaluate appropriateness of pesticides use, reduction of pesticide residue and safety improvements of agricultural products. By using random sampling survey data, we empirically analyzed the marginal effects of control measures and their combinations on food quality and safety standards. The empirical results show that implementing process control, namely, unified production standards or supply of unified agricultural inputs, can comprehensively improve farmers’ implementation rate of PHIS, absolute distance and relative distance to PHIS respectively by 34.9%, 3.2 days and 46.0% on average. While the effects of outcome control (safety inspection) and social control (bonus-penalty incentive or training) are restricted to other measures. Therefore, we suggest cooperatives should take farmers’ features, implementation conditions and the effects of control measures into consideration in order to make a sustainable management plan for improving food quality and safety and enhancing competitiveness in international markets.