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RESPONDING TO HEALTH RISKS ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN 97


• How to be competitive with larger producers: Large retailers often prefer to work with large-scale producers or their own production operations, which are inher- ently easier to monitor and regulate. In Kenya, large exporters reduced the pro- portion of fruit and vegetables sourced from small-scale farmers from 45 percent in the mid-1980s to just 18 percent by the late 1990s (Jaffee 1990; Dolan, Humphrey, and Harris-Pascal 1999). Smallholders lack the scale and organiza- tion to perform many of the actions necessary to be incorporated in high-value agriculture. These include quality control, handling, storage, and marketing.


• How to deal with asymmetry of information about consumer demands and safety standards: Information on health standards required by markets is often not accessible to smallholders, a challenge exacerbated by a lack of coordination in the value chains. The exclusion of smallholders from high-value markets could also reflect a lack of awareness regarding market requirements, which could be magnified by smallholders’ remoteness.


Challenges faced by consumers: When combined with inadequate implementa- tion and regulation, increased food safety standards can actually have a negative effect on the health of the poor in a number of ways.


• Poor consumers cannot afford the premiums for food safety.


• Poor consumers could end up eating unsafe food if higher-safety or higher- quality products are sorted into the high-value export market, reserving low-quality contaminated food for the poorest consumers.


• Many health risks related to food safety along the value chain are chronic rather than acute, so they are less visible and have less priority, whereas food insecurity focuses on immediate access to enough food.


• Poor people are less likely to receive adequate or timely treatment for ailments caused by consumption of unsafe food and water.


• Poor people are less likely to have credible information pertinent for choos- ing safe food.


Significant challenges faced by other value-chain actors: Small-scale traders are largely neglected by studies on the impacts of health risks along the value chain. Little is known about their socioeconomic and livelihood status or the impact of food safety issues on them. Vertical integration and food-safety-related changes


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