We examined the cross-national adoption of six major private food safety standards, focusing on the role of certifiers and international trade. Results show that the number of certification bodies existing in the domestic country, food exports, and the proportion of food exports to North America had positive effects on a country's adoption of food safety standards. Distance leads to product differentiation for the standards and therefore disadvantages developing countries in Africa and Asia for adopting the standards, which are all based in the United States or Europe. Providing these countries with better access to certifiers can alleviate this geographic disadvantage.

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Published in Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, v. 49, issue 2, p. 296-322.

© The Author(s) 2017

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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