Effects of compliance with food safety standards on costs, benefits and organization of Nile Perch Export Supply Chain in Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Sokoine University of Agriculture


Trading in high-value agro-food and fishery products like Nile perch represents one of the main possibilities for reducing poverty in Tanzania. Nile perch earner foreign exchange and provides employment to communities around Lake Victoria. However, Tanzania has experienced challenges in maintaining and expanding her share of global markets given stringent food-safety requirements in the European Union (EU). Following the three EU Nile perch export bans in the 1990s, several efforts have been made to conform to EU food safety standards in the Nile perch supply chain. This study it analysed levels of conformity to standards, costs and benefits associated with compliance with food safety standards at various stages along the chain; and their effects on the organization of Nile perch supply chain. Secondary data were obtained from different sources including the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries and fish processing plants. Primary data were collected from 239 Nile perch chain actors including processors, traders, boat owners and fishers. The data were analysed using accounting method and categorical logit regression model. Despite inadequate finance and human capacity constraints, the Nile perch industry conformed successfully to HACCP, ISO 9000, ISO 22000 and BRC standards to access to EU market. Compliance was found to be higher at processing stage of the chain than fishing stage. It was associated with high costs depending on the existing quality standards, availability of required equipment, understanding of compliance requirements and common practices in the industry. The benefits associated with compliance accruing to the different actors in the chain and nation exports were higher than the associated costs. Several changes occurred in the organization and governance of the Nile perch supply chain since late 1990s when compliance with food safety standards started. However, these changes could not only be attributed to compliance with the standards. Decline in fish stock also contributed to the observed changes. Notable changes were greater investments, increased fishing efforts and contractual agreements emergence between actors in the supply chain. Results of the logit model suggested that business location, scale of investments, negotiation power and extent of integration along the chain were main factors influencing changes in the Nile perch vertical structure. The government needs proactively to sustain compliance with standards and fishery resources by strengthening Beach Management Units (BMUs), regulations enforcement, food safety standards training and improving actors‟ access to financial services.


Thesis 2010


Compliance effects, Food safety standards, Organization costs benefits, Nile Perch Export, Supply Chain, Tanzania