Choosing certifiers: Evidence from the British Retail consortium food safety standard

Talia Bar, Yuqing Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Standards play a vital role in promoting food safety, and in many countries third-party certification bodies carry out audits to determine if food manufacturers comply with a particular standard. Using data from the British Retail Consortium global standards program, we study manufacturers' choices of certification bodies. We take a certification body's share of high audit grades in the months preceding an audit as a measure of perceived leniency, and find that manufacturers are more likely to choose certification bodies that they perceive to be more lenient. Manufactures are also more likely to choose geographically closer certification bodies, and to return to the same certifier that audited their site in the previous year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. All rights reserved.


  • Audit grade
  • British Retail Consortium
  • Food safety
  • Product quality
  • Standard
  • Third-party certification body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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