, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 31-55

Private labels and public quality standards: How can consumer trust be restored after the mad cow crisis?

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In those sectors faced with questions of food safety (meat, fruit, vegetables), new private labels have been set up in Europe in order to restore consumer trust. In this paper, we perform a theoretical analysis of these private labels. We propose an original model of vertical relationships between producers and retailers which takes into account two supply sources through (i) a competitive spot market on which the retailers buy a minimum quality standard product and (ii) supply contracts aimed at marketing higher quality private labels. We study how producers and retailers could cooperate in setting up these new labels. From a public point of view, we show the complementarity of a moderate increase in public quality standards and the creation of these new private labels.

JEL Classification L22. L23. Q13. Q18