Exploring the influence of context on food safety management: Case studies of leafy greens production in Europe

K.K. Kirezieva*, L. Jacxsens, J.L.F. Hagelaar, T. van Boekel, M. Uyttendaele, P.A. Luning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Fresh produce companies operate their food safety management systems (FSMS) in a complex context. On the one hand, during setting and operating their FSMS activities, companies need to consider the riskiness of the ‘FSMS context’ of the company, including the risk of product and production, and the limitations and opportunities of the organisational and chain characteristics. On the other hand, companies with their narrow ‘FSMS context’ and actual FSMS, can be influenced by the ‘broad context’ in a country and sector. This paper presents an analytical framework with operational tools that enable assessment of the status of FSMS in view of the context riskiness at company level, and exploration of the influence of the ‘broad context’ in a country and sector. The latter was defined to include: food safety governance, agro-climatic, market, and public policy environment. Empirical data from three case studies of leafy greens production, intentionally chosen to represent three European regions with their specific contexts, was used to validate the analytical framework. As a conclusion, we postulate that the FSMS output is a function of the broad context in a country and sector, the ‘FSMS context’ in a company, and implemented food safety management system. The model is a first step towards conceptualisation of the complex systems influencing FSMS implementation and operation in companies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-170
JournalFood Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fresh produce
  • processing plants
  • pesticide-residues
  • system performance
  • climate-change
  • human health
  • vegetables
  • chain
  • governance
  • output


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the influence of context on food safety management: Case studies of leafy greens production in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this