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Abstract

The German meat industry faces a high demand for food safety and traceability. After several meat scandals in the recent past, efforts have to be made to regain consumer trust and to assure access to export markets. Apart from a few niche markets, there is no focal company in the German pork supply chain which efficiently coordinates food chain information, harmonizes the multiplicity of different IT systems or takes on professional public relations in charge of the whole sector. In cases of food crises, essential up- and downstream information slowly flows across the supply chain which hinders both seamless traceability and the harmonization of production processes between the various stages of the supply chain. This contribution focuses on the opportunities for more efficient coordination based on spot market environments. With reference to the theory of organization economics, a case study of the QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH as the leading certification scheme that addresses the German meat industry was carried out. Several non-classical certification activities which fall within the scope of coordination were identified with QS. Based on the assumption that the company continuously improves the coordination of the supply chain, there are opportunities for the meat sector as a whole which are pointed out in the conclusion.

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