Impact of internal trust within farmers’ cooperatives on controlling quality and safety of agricultural products*: a case study based on three dairy farmers’ cooperatives

ZHONG Zhen1 MU Nana1 QI Jieli1

(1.School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China)

【Abstract】Through a case study of three dairy farmers’ cooperatives, the paper found that internal trust within farmers’ cooperatives had a positive impact on controlling quality and safety of agricultural products, where interpersonal trust influenced the control effect through promoting sharing resources between members and cooperatives, and institutional trust through regulating and restricting members’ behaviors. Although the two kinds of trust played a role in controlling quality and safety of agricultural products of farmers’ cooperatives, they differed from each other in terms of influencing degrees, and the impact of interpersonal trust might be no greater than that of institutional trust. The conclusions have important practical significance for propelling the construction and improvement of internal trust system within farmers’ cooperatives, and for raising the quality and safety level of agricultural products of cooperatives.

【Keywords】 interpersonal trust; institutional trust; farmers’ cooperatives; raw milk; quality and safety;


【Funds】 Supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (71203227) the Natural Science Foundation of China (71273267) Humanities and Social Sciences Research Projects of the Ministry of Education (14JJD790030)

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    [1]. ① It was reported that in 2013 the shortage of milk source reached at least 4 million tons across China, accounting for about 10% of the output. http: // [^Back]

    [2]. ① The paper classifies all the dairy farmers’ cooperatives interviewed according to the number of times when their raw milk was rejected by the enterprises of dairy products over the past nearly five years from 2009 to 2013. Among them, the cooperatives being rejected for 0 to 3 times (including 3 times) account for 33%, those for 4 to 10 times (including 10 times) account for 40%, and the rest for more than 10 times account for about 27%. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1262/F

Vol , No. 01, Pages 40-52

January 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Theoretical analyses
  • 3 Source of materials, setting of indicators and case study
  • 4 Case studies
  • 5 Conclusions and policy implications
  • Footnote