Safer food equals market access?
Abstract: This is a study on how the widespread use of GlobalGAP standards, a food safety certification scheme commonly used by the large food retailers, affects African countries’ propensity to export fruit and vegetables. The theoretical framework for this study is based on the ongoing debate on whether standards work as a catalyst or a non-tariff barrier to trade. The question at issue for this paper focuses on GlobalGAP certification of fruit and vegetables among European retailers, and its effect on bilateral trade between 52 African countries and EU-27. The method used is a gravity model approach where the GlobalGAP variable is modeled as a bilateral trade resistance term using five different specification methods. For this cross sectional data for the year of 2008 was used. The results generated are highly significant and the main conclusions are that the more GlobalGAP agriculture in the exporting country the greater is the importing country’s willingness to import fruit and vegetables. Furthermore this positive correlation between the incidence of GlobalGAP agriculture in the exporting country and bilateral trade is particularly strong when looking at willingness to import amongst countries belonging to EU-27.
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