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Abstract

In the 21st century, the food supply chain has become a complex, interconnected system with strategies that are aimed at creating improved products to satisfy consumers' demand for safer foods. To stay competitive and ensure consumer confidence, agribusiness firms develop and implement strategies that take into account not only traditional economic factors driving the food demand, but also issues such as food safety and quality. Traceability and assurance protocols help agribusiness companies improve and refine their production processes, thus providing better control over, and transparency of, food quality and safety throughout the food supply chain. This paper reports on the empirical results of focus interviews conducted during the 2004 IAMA conference to determine the current implemented levels of traceability and assurance protocols and considers some of the issues regarding the benefits, costs and constraints of implementing those protocols.

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