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Book part

Crina Viju, Stuart J. Smyth and William A. Kerr

Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral…

Abstract

Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral trading system has been unable to keep trade open for one subset of agricultural products – those that use biotechnology in production. This chapter assesses whether preferential trade agreements can represent potential alternative sources of trade rules for dealing with trade in the products of biotechnology. This chapter analyzes and compares three case studies of preferential trade agreements (Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trans-Pacific Partnership), by focusing on negotiations pertaining to products of biotechnology. The three preferential trade agreements have shown little inventiveness in their attempts to put in place rules of trade for the products of modern agricultural biotechnology and have established forums where only issues can be discussed. They are forums to talk and talk without any means to force closure on negotiations. Given the inability to deal with the issue of biotechnology at the WTO or other multilateral forums, the recent and current negotiations of major preferential agreements represent the second best alternative which still needs to be analyzed and still needs to be understood by policy makers, academics, and the population at large. This chapter represents a first step in that direction.

Details

World Agricultural Resources and Food Security
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-515-3

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Article

May Yeung, William A. Kerr, Blair Coomber, Matthew Lantz and Alyse McConnell

Maximum residual limits (MRLs) for pesticides are based on science. This is true both for MRLs devised by national governments and multilaterally through the Codex…

Abstract

Purpose

Maximum residual limits (MRLs) for pesticides are based on science. This is true both for MRLs devised by national governments and multilaterally through the Codex. Science-based Codex MRLs are internationally harmonized to facilitate trade. Since the 1990s, an increasing number of countries have devised national MRLs and eschewed those of the Codex. These differing national standards are becoming important barriers to trade. The purpose of this paper is to explore the ramifications of these diverging MRLs for food security, investigate the reasons for the rise of national standards, and explore the role of science in regulatory processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is an examination of the scientific basis for MRLs in the context of food safety outcomes.

Findings

It finds that there is no improvement in food safety from the move to national MRLs, only a loss of the benefits of trade. As all countries, along with the Codex, claim that their MRLs are based on science, suggesting that there is a need for an examination of the role of science in the making of public policy.

Originality/value

This study identifies a potential risk to food security for food policy makers. Given future food security challenges and that pesticides are used almost universally in conventional agriculture, trade barriers based on divergent interpretations of science need to be addressed by food policy makers.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Tekuni Nakuja and William A. Kerr

The issue of subsidized acquisition of food stocks for food security purposes has become a contentious issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO) due to their potential…

Abstract

Purpose

The issue of subsidized acquisition of food stocks for food security purposes has become a contentious issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO) due to their potential impact on international trade. The purpose of this paper is to provide estimates of the effects on trade of stockholding programs designed specifically to meet a food security objective.

Design/methodology/approach

A spatial-temporal trade model is developed and then the effects of stockholding policies which satisfy food security goals are simulated and compared to the case where stockholdings are not allowed.

Findings

The results suggest that if stockholding policies that satisfy food security goals are allowed in the case of all importing countries and all G-33 developing countries trade will increase significantly during the stock acquisition phase but will have a negative impact on trade during stock disposal. If stockholding policies are restricted to small high food security risk countries, however, the impacts on trade would not be large enough to be of international concern.

Originality/value

The results suggests that a permanent solution at the WTO might lie in exemptions for small high food security risk countries rather than a one size fits all rule applied to all developing countries. Trade policy makers have been charged with finding a permanent solution to the issue of subsidized public stockholdings for food security purposes but have been hampered, in part, by a dearth of empirical estimates of the effect of such stockholdings on trade. This paper informs the negotiations.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Jill E. Hobbs and William A. Kerr

The announcement in February 1997, that scientists at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh and at PPL Therapeutics had successfully cloned a sheep from another adult sheep…

Abstract

The announcement in February 1997, that scientists at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh and at PPL Therapeutics had successfully cloned a sheep from another adult sheep raised many interesting questions. Ignoring the hotly debated and important ethical issues, this note explores the potential consequences of this breakthrough for vertical co‐ordination in meat supply chains. By reducing the biological variation inherent in animal production, cloning technology could allow the final quality of meat products to be linked more closely to managerial ability. It may result in closer contractual relationships between farmers, processors and retailers. This would bring with it, however, the problems of asset specificity and increased risks of opportunism for farmers if they invest in livestock with a specific genetic code for a single buyer. The purpose of this short paper is to raise interesting questions which bear further investigation rather than to offer definitive answers to these questions.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article

William A. Kerr

Given the rapid rates of technological improvements possible, using modern biotechnology, the product life cycle of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is likely to…

Abstract

Given the rapid rates of technological improvements possible, using modern biotechnology, the product life cycle of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is likely to be short and, hence, those investing in their development will desire access to the widest international market possible. There is, however, considerable consumer scepticism regarding GMOs, which is being translated into both government policy responses and actions by firms who are near the consumer end of the supply chain. As the licensing of GMOs is likely to vary from country to country and regulatory regimes will differ, firms involved in international supply chains for food products will be affected by the interplay of trade policy and consumer scepticism. All firms, even those not handling GMO products, will be affected because costly new monitoring procedures will be required. These additional monitoring costs suggest that competitive advantage is likely to be conferred on those supply chains which exhibit superior vertical co‐ordination.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Book part

William A. Kerr

The World Food Program provides food aid to areas of the world where food security is poor or non-existent – often failed states. Food can be a weapon in such places and…

Abstract

Purpose

The World Food Program provides food aid to areas of the world where food security is poor or non-existent – often failed states. Food can be a weapon in such places and food aid shipments a target for capture. This paper investigates the cost-effectiveness of international efforts to protect World Food Program aid shipments destined for Somalia from seaborne pirates off the Horn of Africa.

Findings

The lessons of history were ignored by those attempting to prevent food aid shipments from falling into the hands of pirates. The international community initially used very expensive naval assets to protect shipments. Over time, in an effort to reduce costs, the strategy and assets used to secure shipments evolved. This slow, cost-reduction-driven evolution of the international community’s anti-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa has distinct parallels with the evolution of anti-piracy efforts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One difference between the historic and current anti-piracy strategies is that there does not appear to be an exit strategy for the latter.

Practical implications

Future anti-piracy initiatives might look to previous strategies to avoid the costly experience associated with Somalia-bound food aid shipments.

Social implications

Achieving food security objectives can be a resource-intensive activity in failed states. This paper provides insights into how the resource cost of providing food security can be reduced.

Details

Food Security in an Uncertain World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-213-9

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Article

Silke Boger, Jill E. Hobbs and William A. Kerr

New institutional economics suggests that the development of institutions and the existence of transaction costs are important determinants of the speed and success of the…

Abstract

New institutional economics suggests that the development of institutions and the existence of transaction costs are important determinants of the speed and success of the transition from command to market systems. Investigates the development of hog marketing channels in Poland during transition using data from a survey of Polish hog farmers. Given the fragmented structure of hog production and processing and the upheaval of transition, different transition paths can be identified. The supply chain relationships, such as contracting, that encourage improved quality and stimulate further investment are likely to exhibit long‐run transaction cost advantages.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article

Shari L. Boyd, Jill E. Hobbs and William A. Kerr

Business to consumer (B‐2‐C) e‐commerce offers many potential benefits to firms, including access to geographically dispersed markets across international borders and…

Abstract

Business to consumer (B‐2‐C) e‐commerce offers many potential benefits to firms, including access to geographically dispersed markets across international borders and enabling direct supply chain relationships with consumers. Language and currency differences, consumer liability implications and customs and inspection fees represent barriers to the expansion of international e‐commerce. Comparisons are presented of customs fees for regular and e‐commerce sized shipments of four food products from Canada to the USA. As these fees are largely charged on a flat rate basis, they place e‐commerce shipments at a considerable competitive disadvantage relative to traditional truckload sized shipments. The lack of agreement internationally on how to revise or harmonise customs regulations means that customs fees remain geared towards large shipments. Although the existing system was acceptable when most shipments crossing borders were large truck or container loads, the development of e‐commerce provides a strong incentive for change.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article

Grant E. Isaac, Nicholas Perdikis and William A. Kerr

Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation…

Abstract

Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation that is in conflict with the entry mode strategy of standardisation that has dominated the food distribution system for a century. To deal with the new market reality, an alternative entry mode strategy must be established which is capable of segregation – or identity preservation (IP) – of the commodity supply system. A multi‐mode strategy is presented that combines the economic transaction cost perspective with the institutional theory perspective. A seemingly paradoxical result emerges: standardisation is the solution to market differentiation. That is, an IP entry mode strategy must first be built on a foundation of standardised norms and protocols, which then makes it easier to target specific entry mode strategies to meet the divergent export market access rules resulting from the differential public policy and private strategies in various countries and regions.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 21 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article

Huanan Liu, William A. Kerr and Jill E. Hobbs

The rapid transition from a command to market‐based economy in China has required the development of a food safety system for aquatic products where one did not previously…

Abstract

Purpose

The rapid transition from a command to market‐based economy in China has required the development of a food safety system for aquatic products where one did not previously exist. The pace of change has meant that food safety systems have struggled to keep up. In 2007 food safety incidents damaged the reputation of aquatic products in export markets. The Chinese Government has moved quickly to strengthen the safety regime for aquatic products. The purpose of this paper is to assess these initiatives in the context of their potential to regain international acceptance of Chinese aquatic products.

Design/methodology/approach

A regulatory assessment approach is used.

Findings

The findings are that increased government oversight alone is not likely to lead to a fully effective food safety system for aquatic products. The development of private sector‐based incentives to encourage investment in food safety is an essential co‐requisite to increased government oversight if China's access to international markets is to be assured.

Originality/value

The value of this study lies in the light it sheds on the efforts of a major player in the international market for aquatic products to improve the efficacy of its food safety system. China's regulatory regimes are often opaque, limiting the ability of those wishing to assess the advisability of importing food products from China.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 114 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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