How One of The World’s Oldest Food Safety Standards Approaches Expiration – The Case of German Beer

Ph Eble, Henk de Vries

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingConference proceedingAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The paper at hand contemplates the effect of a centuries-old national food safety standard on innovation in a globalizing market. To that end, the case of the German Beer Industry is analysed to explicate the relationship between a longstanding beer purity decree and brewing innovation. Over 500 years of existence the so-called “Reinheitsgebot”, now laid down in federal German law, has served to restrict variety and safeguard the quality of locally-produced beers. In turn, the standard prominently shaped the national image as well as consumer preferences across all regions in Germany. This research however demonstrates how this has overwhelmingly brought about adverse consequences for the international relevance of German beer in an increasingly globalised economy, which favours diversity in tastes. Due to changing consumption trends and the constricted innovative ability of German brewers, the findings inform government’s responsibility in standardisation for traditional consumer goods industries at a time of urgent need for action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAS Proceedings 2018 – Standards for a Smarter Future
EditorsK. Jakobs, R.V. O’Connor
Place of PublicationAachen
Pages5-15
Number of pages11
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018

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