Agricultural products are valued for many attributes including those that describe production practices. These production attributes are established through public and private efforts to promulgate standards and labels that differentiate products based on labor treatment, environmental impact, animal welfare, and other practices that occur during production. Organizations, like third-party certifiers, coordinate information and give credence to products in a way that enables consumers to differentiate products by production practices. Libertarian and utilitarian arguments may be used in the normative debate surrounding the appropriate role of government in sponsoring standards and labels that inform consumers about the modes of production.
Deaton, B., Lawrence Busch, Warren Samuels, and Paul Thompson. 2010. "A Note on the Economy of Qualities: Attributing Production Practices to Agricultural Practices." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 25(3): Article 6. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol25/iss3/6