Spencer Henson

Spencer Henson is a Full Professor in food economics. Originally from the UK, he moved to the University of Guelph in 2001. He is a member of the International Food Economy Research group (InFERG).

Academic History

BSc (University of Reading), Food Science, Economics and Marketing
PhD (University of Reading), Food Economics

shenson's picture


ext. 53134
Room 220

Research Impact

Research interests focus on the economics of food safety and quality and the economics of agricultural development, with a particular focus on linking smallholders to higher-value markets. Spencer Henson has undertaken research in over 40 countries, although the major geographical focus of his research work currently is Canada and a number of countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Through his research work he has worked with a number of international agencies including the World Bank, OECD, WTO, FAO, WHO, CEPAL and Oxfam International. Current research projects focus on:
1) Effectiveness of interventions aimed at linking smallholders to higher-value markets in sub-Saharan Africa;
2) Effectiveness of SPS-related technical assistance;
3) Regulation of food safety;
4) Consumer acceptance of functional foods and nutraceuticals;
5) Effectiveness of interventions for the management of food safety;
6) Promoting small-scale agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa.

Featured Publications

Henson, S., Jaffee, S., & Masakure, O. (2014). The Participation of Smallholder Farmers in High-Value Export Markets Governed by Standards: The Role of Exporter Procurement Practices. In J.C. Beghin (Ed.), Non-Tariff Measures with Market Imperfections: Trade and Welfare Implications (pp. 261-290). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.

Henson, S. & Jaffee, S. (2013). Public and Private Food Safety Standards: Compliance Costs and Strategic Opportunities. In A. Lukauskas, R.M. Stern & G. Zanini (Eds.), Handbook of Trade Policy for Development (pp. 704-739). Oxford, UK: Oxfrod University Press.

Julio, M., Schram, G., Henson, S., Arcand, J., & L'Abbe, M. (2014). Assessment of Consumers' Level of Engagement in Following Recommendations for Lowering Sodium Intake. Appetite, 73, 51-57.

Schermel, A., Mendoza, J., Henson, S., Dukeshire, S., Pasut, L., et al. (2014). Canadians' Perceptions of Food, Diet and Health: A National Survey. PLoS ONE, 9 (1), e86000.

Christina, W., Mendoza, J., Henson, S., Qi, Y., Lou, W., et al. (2014). Consumer Attitudes and Understanding of Cholesterol-Lowering Claims on Food: Randomize Mock-Package Experiments with Plant Sterols and Oat Fibre Claims. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, AOP.

Bloom, G., Henson, S., & Peters, D. (2014). Innovation in Regulation of Rapidly Changing Markets. Globalization and Health, 10, 53-64.

Brockington, D. & Henson, S. (2014). Signifying the Public: Celebrity, Advocacy and Post-Democratic Politics. International Journal of Cultural Studies, AOP.

Wong, C. L., Arcand, J., Mendoza, J., Henson, S., Qi, Y., Lou, W. and L'Abbe M.R. (2013). Consumer Attitudes and Understanding of Low-Sodium Claims on Food: An Analysis of Healthy and Hypertensive Individuals. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97, 1288-98.

Arcand, J., Mendoza, J., Ying, Q., Henson, S., Lou, W., et al. (2013). Results of a National Survey Examining Canadians' Concern, Actions, Barriers and Support for Dietary Sodium Reduction. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 29, 628-31.

Olale, E. & Henson, S. (2013). The Impact of Income Diversification among Fishing Communities in Western Kenya. Food Policy, 43, 90-99.

Henson, S. & Lindstrom, L. (2012). A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep. World Development (Oxford), 42, 67-75.

Herath, D., Cranfield, J., Henson, S.J. and Sparling, D. (2008). Firm, Market and Regulatory Factors Influencing Innovation and Commercialization in Canada's Functional Food and Nutraceutical Sector. Agribusiness, 24 (2), 207-230.

Henson, S.J. and Jaffee, S. (2008). Understanding Developing Country Strategic Responses to the Enhancement of Food Safety Standards. The World Economy, 31 (1), 1-15.

Henson, S.J. (2008). The Role of Public and Private Standards in Regulating International Food Markets. Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, 4 (1), 63-81.

Herath, D., Hassan, Z. and Henson, S.J. (2007). Adoption of Food safety and Quality Controls: Do Firm Characteristics Matter? Evidence from the Canadian Food processing Sector. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 55, 299-314.

Reardon, T., Henson, S.J. and Berdegue, J. (2007). ‘Proactive Fast-Tracking' Diffusion of Supermarkets in Developing Countries: Implications for Market Institutions and Trade. Journal of Economic Geography, 7, 399-431.

Henson, S.J., Masakure, O. and Cranfield, J. (2007). The Propensity for Consumers to Offset Health Risks Through the Use of Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals: The Case of Lycopene. Food Quality and Preference 19, 395-406.

Martinez, M.G., Fearne, A., Caswell, J.A. and Henson, S.J. (2007). Co-Regulation as a Possible Model for Food Safety Governance: Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships. Food Policy, 32, 299-314.

Jayasinghe, U. and Henson, S.J. (2007). Identifying Incentives for Canadian red Meat and Poultry Processing Enterprises to Adopt Enhanced Food Safety Controls. Food Control, 18, 1363-1371.

Henson, S.J. and Jaffee, S. (2007). The Costs and Benefits of Compliance with Food Safety Standards for Exports by Developing Countries: The Case of Fish and Fishery Products. In: Swinnen, J.F.M. (ed.). Global Supply Chains, Standards and the Poor: How the Globalisation of Food Systems and Standards Affects Rural Development and Poverty. CABI, Wallingford.

Henson, S.J. and Jaffee, J. (2006). Food Safety Standards and Trade: Enhancing Competitiveness and Avoiding Exclusion of Developing Countries. European Journal of Development Research, 18 (4), 593-621.

Herath, D. and Henson, S.J. (2006). Does Canada Need Mandatory HACCP? Evidence from the Ontario Food Processing Sector. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 54 (4), 439-442.

Jayasinghe, U. and Henson, S.J. (2006). Economic Incentives for Firms to Implement Enhanced Food Safety Controls: Case of the Canadian red Meat and Poultry Processing Sector. Review of Agricultural Economics, 28 (4), 494-514.

Henson, S.J. and Reardon, T. (2005). Private Agri-Food Standards: Implications for Food Policy and the Agri-Food System. Food Policy, 30, 241-253

Jaffe, S. and Henson, S.J. (2005). Agro-Food Exports from Developing Countries: The Challenges Posed by Standards. In: Aksoy, M.A. and Beghin, J.C. (eds.). Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries. Oxford University Press, Oxford.