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Abstract

Traceability can serve various purposes in the food sector, including that of chain quality control. However, the aspects that seem to be most frequently required of traceability are those related to food safety. Nevertheless, traceability systems development has recently shifted its focus from the major aspects of food safety to a price premium search approach. Although such an approach often appears to lie behind production strategies, there is no technical or theoretical evidence to support it: traceability systems do not guarantee, per se, quality. On the other hand, a rigorous traceability system that pursues multiple objectives involves costly procedures that are very likely to feed all the way up to the consumer side. The mainstream literature is rich in technical and economic studies on traceability. Nevertheless, little has been written on the effects of traceability costs on quantity demanded. While numerous studies show a higher consumer willingness to pay for certified products, it is not clear in what way and to what extent price increases affect the market.

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