Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AJARE Call for Papers: Special Issue on the Economics of Food Fraud

Food fraud—illegally deceiving consumers and other businesses in the production and marketing of food for economic gain—poses risks to private industry, government regulation programs, and consumers (Spink & Moyer, 2011). Food fraud encompasses a range of actions including food adulteration, tampering, theft (and resale), diversion of products outside of intended markets, and counterfeiting.

Within the global agribusiness industry, there is increasing concern over food frauds (e.g., Nestle, 2016). The global food industry experiences an estimated US$30 to $40 billion dollars per year of losses to food fraud (PwC & SSAFE, 2015). A single food fraud incident can cost companies an estimated 2 to 15 percent of their annual revenue (GMA & Kearney, 2010). Damages can also extend to consumers. Dependent upon the type of fraud, fraudulent foods can have serious adverse health impacts. In the case where the fraud results in adverse consumer experiences or health outcomes, it may have long lasting implications for company brands and value. Industries have developed means to monitor and assess food fraud damages, but mitigation also involves government agency and industry group coordination and policy development.

The complexity of international agribusiness supply chains can leave food those engaged in international markets particularly exposed to food fraud risk. This is of particular concern for agri-food products traded with and through markets in Southeast Asia. For example, over the last ten years there have been numerous incidents of food fraud in China (Zhang & Xue, 2016). Major exporters of agricultural products into this region such as Australia and New Zealand, whose key export commodities include dairy, meat, seafood, honey and wine products which are among the most susceptible to food fraud (Moyer, DeVries, & Sprink, 2017; Sumar & Boville, 1995), have implemented strong biosecurity programs to protect the integrity of their supply chains.

The subject of food fraud is ripe for economic inquiry. It aligns closely with general economic work related to experience and credence goods, and asymmetric information (Akerlof, 1970; Darby & Karni, 1973; Nelson, 1970, 1974). Issues of food fraud have implications for the operations of all business stakeholders in agri-food supply chains, as well industry oversight and self-governance, and national government and international body policy and regulation. There is, however, currently a dearth of information from economists about the public costs of food fraud and viability of proposed programs to prevent it. As a discipline, agricultural and applied economists have tools uniquely suited to contribute to food fraud research and policy option development.

Aims and Scope of the Special Issue

The goal of this special issue is to collect both theoretical and empirical contributions by agricultural economist to the analysis of the issues related to fraud in modern agricultural and food systems. Contributions can focus on national case studies, or on issues regarding global supply chains, and concentrate on different levels of the agricultural and food supply chains, including agricultural input markets; procurement; food and agricultural supply chains; food processing; retailing and consumption-related issues.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
  • Counterfeited goods and food supply chains;
  • Effect of fraud on food demand and quality perception;
  • Consumers’ willingness to pay for fraud prevention;
  • Impact of food fraud on industrial organization;
  • Impacts of fraud on international food trade and international food markets;
  • The role of government, industry associations, and other organizations on food fraud;
  • Other topics.
Interested Authors should submit a two page abstract to the guest editors’ team (Mariah Ehmke: Mariah.ehmke@uwyo.edu; Alessandro Bonanno: alessandro.bonanno@colostate.edu; and Kathryn Boys: kaboys@ncsu.edu) by 28th of February 2018.

The documents should be in MSWord files and must contain (in addition to the two-page abstract) a cover page with (a) the paper title, (b) author names, (c) titles and affiliations, and (d) email addresses. Invitations to submit a full paper will be released by March 25th 2018. Additional details on the timeline follow:

Timeline for Review and Production
  • February 28, 2018: Deadline for submission of extended abstracts
  • March 25, 2018: Invitations extended to authors selected to submit full manuscripts
  • July 23, 2018: Submission deadline for full manuscripts
  • October 2018: Papers returned to authors for revisions
  • December 2018: Resubmission deadline
  • January 2019: Authors notified of decision on manuscripts
For further questions about this special issue, please contact

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