Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The two primary measures of product quality employed in this study are field observations and laboratory test results regarding compliance to Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). For field-based measures, our survey team will visit farms and collection facilities, operated by intermediaries, to evaluate whether current practices meet or exceed the standards recognized by GLOBAL GAP. For laboratory testing on product quality, we plan to hire a company based in Ho Chi Minh city that specializes in food quality testing. Lab test procedures mainly include pesticide residue testing and sweetness measurement. Our research team will collect fruit samples from farms and send them to the laboratory.
The advantages of employing both observational and lab-based measures of product quality are threefold. First, it is practical from the farmer’s and intermediary’s points of view since GLOBAL GAP certification, which is the primary requirement for entering most export markets in the world (UNCTD, 2007), also requires on the field inspections and lab testing. Second, GLOBAL GAP provides a list of standardized practices that can be verified not only by our survey team but also by intermediaries whereas lab testing is costly and in most cases impossible for a single intermediary to implement. Thus, our field-based measure captures what intermediaries may exclusively rely on to infer about product quality. Third, lab test results can provide an accurate measure of product quality in terms of food safety and sweetness which can be used to complement observational measures of quality.
Finally, investment and profit outcomes will be constructed using responses to surveys.