Quality: compliance or competitive strategy?

A critical factor in moving towards sustainable development and innovation

Higher standards are often associated with better consumer protection and quality of life. However, this correlation is not unequivocal, as neither markets nor government regulation work perfectly. This observation is especially true for developing and emerging countries. In this sense, we wonder how a country’s quality infrastructure can best be aligned to contribute to economically sustainable development and the quality of life of its citizens in challenging contexts.

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Quality infrastructure as an ally of the circular economy

It’s time for a new economy

Our current economic model has already exceeded the Earth’s ecological limits and is endangering the stability of the ecosystem and the livelihoods of humankind.

Changes of 7 planetary boundaries since 1950. The green shaded polygon represents the safe operating space. Source: Steffen et al. 2015
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Quality infrastructure, trade and environmental agreements´┐╝

The potentially tumultuous relationship between Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements has been an issue of special interest within the international trade and environmental debate for decades. Discussions often revolve around incompatibilities between MEAs and WTO Agreements since some MEAs contain trade measures, which may be inconsistent with obligations under WTO Agreements. Quality infrastructure (QI) could be the key to fulfilling obligations under both sets of agreements simultaneously and without conflict.

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Reform of the quality law in Costa Rica

Central American success model

Costa Rica is a small, innovative country in Central America. Long ago, the government decided to abstain from having an army and instead invested in environmental protection and technological innovation.[1] Costa Rica has evolved from a developing country to an industrialised economy. In May 2020, it became the 38thmember of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). [2]

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Animal welfare as a quality attribute

Importance of extrinsic quality requirements

When shopping, consumers are, first of all, concerned that food is hygienically safe and free of harmful substances. These intrinsic properties can be checked directly with the product, e.g. by laboratory testing. Despite occasionally occurring non-conformities and food scandals, in general, food management systems, product standards and controls ensure the necessary food safety and product quality.

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