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Abstract

Traceability through the agri-food supply chain has become the focus of recent industry initiatives and policy discussions in Canada. Traceability can be part of a strategy to reduce the risk or minimize the impact of a foodborne disease problem. It can also be part of a larger quality assurance strategy, facilitating the verification of specific quality attributes. This paper examines the economic incentives for implementing traceability systems in the meat and livestock sector, including ex post cost reduction, enhanced effectiveness of liability law, and reduced information costs for consumers. Preliminary evidence is presented from experimental auctions in Ontario and Saskatchewan that measured consumer willingness to pay for traceability information, food safety assurances and animal welfare assurances for beef and pork.

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