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Journal cover: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Meat safety as a tool of differentiation for retailers: Spanish and French examples of meat “supply chain brands”


Document Information:
Title:Meat safety as a tool of differentiation for retailers: Spanish and French examples of meat “supply chain brands”
Author(s):Pierre Sans, (Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse, France Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-LORIA, Ivry-sur-Seine, France), Guy de Fontguyon, (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-LORIA, Ivry-sur-Seine, France), Julian Briz, (E.T.S. Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Citation:Pierre Sans, Guy de Fontguyon, Julian Briz, (2005) "Meat safety as a tool of differentiation for retailers: Spanish and French examples of meat “supply chain brands”", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 33 Iss: 8, pp.618 - 635
Keywords:France, Retailers, Spain, Supply chain management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09590550510608403 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – Since several food crises have strongly affected the production of animal food products, food safety has become one of the most important aspects of quality products for both consumers and retailers. The aim of this article is to analyse how the health crises have contributed to increasing the segmentation of the supply of fresh and little-processed food products under the impetus of a reinforcement of regulations (affecting the supply chain as a whole) and of strategies adopted by the stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors carry out an empirical and comparative analysis of the reactions of two neighbouring countries (Spain and France) faced with major health crises caused by similar events: the emergence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) cases. A special focus is made on the initiatives taken privately by two French retail groups (Carrefour and Auchan) operating in both countries.

Findings – The analysis shows that retailers have developed systems of quality insurance developed in order to reduce uncertainty and to restore consumers' confidence in the quality of the products they buy. These programmes of actions pave the way for policies of product differentiation. In a relatively different context from that of France, the two big French retail groups Carrefour and Auchan operating in Spain have developed similar approaches, which had not been the case in France. In a context of sharp competition between quality designation on the one hand, and the relative dissatisfaction of the retailer with respect to “minimum quality” standards on the other, the two groups have adopted marketing communication strategies adapted to the Spanish situation, and have used “supply chain brands” as tools of differentiation to ensure consumers' loyalty.

Originality/value – Provides an analysis of the effects of health crises on the segmentation of the supply of fresh food products.



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