Arimnet 2011 - Agricultural research in the Mediterranean Area

Food safety regulations, market access and international competition – SAFEMED

Submission summary

The SAFEMED Project aims at analyzing the conditions for an international co-regulation of food safety between North and South Mediterranean sides. It consists in analysing the structure of the competition between supply chains of both sides and examining the possibilities for a coordination of public and private food safety strategies. The Project develops a multi-criteria analysis that makes it possible to conciliate:

(i) The imperative of food safety, to assure European consumers’ health via the provision of safe imports, and, at the same time, the health of South Mediterranean consumers that have to take advantage of the evolution of good agricultural practices at international level,

(ii) Producers’ market access, given that agrifood exports represent an important factor of South countries’ economic development,

(iii) Safe and fair competition among actors of North and South sides to avoid phenomena of “sanitary dumping” (derived from countries heterogeneity of food safety regulations).

Food safety is considered as a public good, in the sense that an under-provision of food safety may be harmful to all stakeholders (firms and consumers) and not only to those responsible for this deficit. The Project is built by putting the emphasis on the characteristics of the Economies of the two Mediterranean sides (by including three countries of the North side, Spain, France, and Italy, and three countries of the South side, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). An important role is given to commercialization and intermediate sectors, in addition to the production sector, by focusing notably on theoretical works and empirical works on fruit and vegetable supply chains. The value sharing between intermediate actors localized in importing countries and local stakeholders is taken into account as an indicator of the equity of North/South trade relationships.

As for the methodology, SAFEMED studies are based on surveys (on different stakeholders) and the creation of databases with the implementation of experimental markets. More specifically, information is collected on production system organization, food safety investment costs (specific investments, and costs of compliance with food safety norms and private standards set up by importers and retailers), and consumer behavior towards sanitary crisis according to the available information at the time of purchase. Technical-economics studies (integrating microbiological and toxicological analysis) aim at measuring the actual sanitary risk and the related prevention cost, in the framework of cost-benefit analysis. The priority is given, in the Project SAFEMED, to the micro economic analysis of supply chain organization, by explicitly taking into account the commercialization sector and the different types of intermediate actors (importers, retailers, group purchasing organizations, wholesale markets, etc.).

Further, based on the recent developments of the theories of industrial organization, International Industrial Economics and Structural Econometrics (explaining actors’ behavior starting from formal representations of this latter), the Project aims at identifying the optimal co-regulation policies, taking into account the strategic behavior of commercialization and import firms.

Project coordinator

Monsieur abdelhakim HAMMOUDI (Unité Alimentation et Sciences Sociales) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


INAT INAT, Département d’Economie, Gestion Agricole et Agro-alimentaire - Tunisie
ENSA Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie - Algérie
UAL Universidad de Almería, Departamento de Economía Aplicada - Espagne
Unité Alimentation et Sciences Sociales
DEIAGRA Université de Bologne, Dipartimento di Economia e Ingegneria Agrarie - Italie
IAV Agronomic and Veterinary Institute Hassan II - Maroc

Help of the ANR 127,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2012 - 36 Months

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