Archive of European Projects

Economic analysis of certification systems for organic food and farming (CERTCOST)
Start date: 01 Sep 2008, End date: 30 Nov 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"With the ongoing growth of the organic sector and the spread of organic production across the EU, the field of organic certification has become a maze of competing labels and logos, involving different private and public standards, in addition to European law. This diversity reflects the specific conditions for organic operators in countries or regions but can also lead to confusion for both producers and consumers and may create a variety of costs. Reg. (EC) 834/2007 intends a review of the revised regulation by the year 2011. It is imperative to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis of the variety of existing certification systems and their impact on the internal market for organic goods. This project proposes to combine the experience and knowledge of both researchers and SMEs to fulfil the following objectives: analyse the implementation of organic certification systems and estimate all relevant expenditures or transaction costs for different certification systems along the organic food supply chain in various regions of the EU, including a candidate country and Switzerland. It will involve stakeholders. Access to the necessary data has already been agreed with the involved partners or appropriate agencies for all seven study countries. In addition to costs, benefits of certification will be analysed, using data on consumers' recognition, image and willingness to pay for different organic logos and trademarks, with their underlying production standards and certification procedures. The project will consider consumer and certification issues equally. Economic models will be applied to analyse the determinants of costs and benefits, as well as provide recommendations for the development of risk-based certification systems. Finally, recommendations will be drawn for the EU Commission, national competent authorities and private actors in organic food and farming on how to increase effectiveness and efficiency of organic certification."
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