Differences in quality governance: the case of the Brazilian pork chain

Franco Müller Martins*, Jacques Trienekens, Onno Omta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships between coordination mechanisms (CMs) and quality requirements used to support transactions in the Brazilian pork chain. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the transaction cost economics theory, the paper focuses on the alignment between CMs and quality requirements. The results were obtained by means of interviews (n=41) with public and private actors, including the main companies and other stakeholders in the Brazilian pork sector. The research addresses regulations, requirements of customers and supporting CMs used in different transaction contexts. Findings: In the Brazilian pork sector, five transaction contexts can be distinguished: spot market, mini integration, singular cooperative, central cooperative and investor-owned firm. The chain actors apply different CMs to support a set of quality requirements which presents little diversity. The main quality requirements are driven by baseline public regulations. Besides, there are, in particular international, customers with more specific requirements. To support transactions, chain actors use different contracts in terms of resource allocation and price incentives. Originality/value: Literature assumes alignment between governance structures (GSs) and quality standards. This paper further investigates this assumption by analyzing the relationships between CMs (underlying GSs) and quality requirements (underlying quality standards). The research findings show that similar quality requirements may well be supported by different CMs. It further gives indications on why different CMs are used to support a homogeneous set of requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2837-2850
Number of pages1
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Brazil
  • Contracts
  • Coordination mechanisms
  • Pork chain
  • Quality requirements


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