High Quality Food Risk Management Systems: Comparing Implementation of Industry-Driven and Public Food Safety Regulation in Finland within the EU General Food Safety Law Framework

Renmin University Law Review 2018

19 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2019

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

We argue that a balanced mix of public and private regulation is the key to achieving excellent food safety standards in practice. Key to maintaining high quality is maintaining minimum levels of food fraud in the market. Large informal food markets causing dysfunctions in formal food markets are examples of powerful institutional, economic and cultural incentives at play. The risk for systemic compliance failure is high in food risk management systems (FRMS). It is advisable to consider hybridisation of regulatory approaches in seeking to enhance consumer perceptions of food risk management quality.

The Finnish food industry relies on a strong tradition of self-regulation, especially relating to enhancing the quality and safety of food products. Establishing a functioning food risk management system requires more than food safety regulation that relies on scientific evidence and public control. Reaching higher levels of perception of food quality requires transparency in enforcement as well as food risk management communication based on risk-benefit communication. Reaching a high quality food risk management system (HQFRMS) requires hybridisation of food governance to empower consumers to increase demand for higher quality products. Building trust in the FRMS increases the willingness to pay for removal of risk factors and HQFRMS. Regulatory measures that enhance and enable private regulation where consumer protection and economic interests align are likely to support public regulation and enhance quality and perceptions of high quality risk management throughout the market.

An approach that focuses on public control easily juxtaposes government against powerful institutional, economic and cultural incentives. Regulatory reform may be just as harmful as no regulation or over-regulation of markets. Measures may result in systemic compliance failures that devalue regulation and break down credibility of public governance. Hybridisation of regulatory approaches builds trust in better regulation and better markets.

Keywords: better regulation, food safety, private regulation, co-regulation, public governance, hybrid regulation, risk management, food risk management, quality management systems, food fraud

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K23, K42, O17, O19, O38, O57

Suggested Citation

Weckstrom, Katja G., High Quality Food Risk Management Systems: Comparing Implementation of Industry-Driven and Public Food Safety Regulation in Finland within the EU General Food Safety Law Framework (2018). Renmin University Law Review 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3372912

Katja G. Weckstrom (Contact Author)

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.uef.fi/en/oikeustieteet/lindroos

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