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Abstract

Over the past decades increasing consumers’ concerns due to repeated food scares has lead firms and policy makers to adopt mandatory and voluntary normative instruments in order to reduce consumers loss of confidence towards food products. Traceability is one of the most important interventions aimed at assuring the safety and quality characteristics of food products. Firms can use such tool to reduce the risk of food safety non-compliance, to impact on consumer behaviour through the labelling of traced quality attributes, and to reinforce vertical relationships within the food supply chain through a system aimed at guaranteeing a more transparent management of transactions. The EU mandatory legal framework on traceability is based on general food law (Regulation 178/2002) and on Regulations 1760/2000 and 1825/2000 for the meat supply chain. The strategic role played by traceability standards has been recently strengthened by Regulation (EU) 1337/2013 that has extended the European legal framework on traceability to most of meat products. This Regulation has highlighted the important role of fine traceability in assuring specific safety and quality attributes connected to the supply chain.

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