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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Health based animal and meat safety cooperative communities

Vågsholm, Ivar; Belluco, Simone; Bonardi, Silvia; Hansen, Fredrik; Elias, Terje; Roasto, Mati; Gomes-Neves, Eduarda; Antunovic, Boris; Kautto, Arja; Alban, Lis; Blagojevic, Bojan


The purposes of meat inspection have been formulated for more than 100 years as (a) protecting health of consumers, (b) maintain the reputation of the meats in home and export markets, and (c) detecting communicable diseases of animals before they have spread beyond easy control. Today, one would add to protect animal welfare, clarify that protecting consumer health includes both chemical and biological hazards, and add food fraud to the issues of reputation. To transform the scientific knowledge into modern meat safety assurance systems (MSAS), the risk managers need to understand the social capital in the meat value chain to align the behaviors of farmers, food business operators and competent authorities with technical knowledge. The meat value chain could be perceived as a commons – a material or immaterial property held jointly by the members of a community, whom may govern access to and use of the property through social structures, traditions, and/or formal rules i.e. social capital. The social capital and food safety culture amongst farmers and food business operators is a key driver for successful meat safety while information asymmetry increases risks for a tragedy of commons scenario. Ostrom's core design principles for stable commons could inform the design of MSASs. Tools for reducing the information asymmetry and building trust and social capital between all stakeholders within the meat value chain include the food safety culture, food chain information, use of health epidemiological indicators, sensors and block chains, industry/private standards, and the applying system approach from farm to fork.


Market governance; Information asymmetry; Stable commons; FCI; Meat safety assurance system

Published in

Food Control
2023, Volume: 154, article number: 110016