The opportunities and challenges of incorporating accurate policy representations into institutional partial equilibrium commodity models were investigated. Six issues are raised: commodity space definition, vertical linkages, assessing market power, the changing nature of government support, trade policy, and data requirements. The importance of product attributes and different approaches to modeling product differentiation are considered. A case study of food safety is used to bring together the major issues. Although institutional commodity models still have a role to play, we advocate the use of smaller idiosyncratic models to address many of the relevant policy questions in a rapidly changing sector.