Chemical vegetable safety in China: “supermarketisation” and its limits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the process of supermarketization in the vegetable retail sector in China and its impact on food safety.

Data from food safety reports by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) are used to investigate the degree of vegetable safety in different value chain types. To assess the predictors of the degree of vegetable safety, a logistic regression model is applied.

Supermarketization has led to the reorganization of the vegetables provision system, through closer coordination along the supply chain and the use of secured production bases. We identify four types of vegetable value chains in China based on their form of coordination. Supermarkets improve vegetable safety even when they rely on external suppliers, but also wet markets perform significantly better than other small-scale retailers in terms of vegetable safety.

The study has expanded the knowledge of the supermarketization in urban China by collecting data from CFDA. Furthermore, the study used the theory of food value chain to understand determinant factors in securing food safety. Moreover, this study reveals that wet markets also have prospects in solving vegetable safety problems in China, especially in underdeveloped areas.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Food Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2020


  • Supermarkets
  • Urban China
  • Food value chain
  • Wet market
  • Vegetable safety

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