Market-driven or policy-directed quality certification?
Purpose of the paper: This study examines whether there is a balance between the impact of market factors and policy factors that accelerate certification, such that a divergence between the supply and demand of certified food is avoided.
Methodology: A value co-creation framework and a discrete choice model are developed to analyze the acceleration of certification. The model is empirically investigated with quantitative data, collected from 231 Greek certified farm businesses.
Findings: Five market and policy factors accelerate certification. Policy factors outperform market factors, but because the most crucial factor is control exertion by authorities, this is not expected to unbalance the development of the certified food subsector. The role of private standards in shifting from public to private food-sector governance is also confirmed.
Research limitations: The model estimation is based on aggregated data in the sense that five quality schemes are included; thus, some information may have been overlooked.
Implications: The theoretical framework can be used in future empirical analyses, especially when the certification decisions of small and medium-sized enterprises are examined. Public authorities should be cautious about altering the structure of incentives for farm businesses; certifiers should make certification more attractive to farm businesses; marketers should encourage farmers to accelerate certifications; and farm businesses and their organizations should focus on certification efficiency.
Originality of the paper: The paper goes beyond issues considered in previous studies by focusing on the balance between market- and policy-related factors that accelerate certification, and developing a theoretical framework.
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