Angela Cheptea, Charlotte Emlinger, and Karine Latouche

This paper questions the impact of the globalization of the retail sector on the export activity of origin country agri‐food firms. We use an original firm‐level database of French agri‐food exports that identifies the domestic suppliers of French retailers through certification with the private International Featured Standard (IFS). The results show that IFS certified French firms are more likely to export and export larger volumes than noncertified firms to markets where French retailers have established outlets. We also show that when French retailers stop their activities in a market, certified firms reduce their exports to this market in the following years. The results are robust to the use of different sets of firm‐year‐ and country‐year‐specific controls and fixed effects, and are not affected by possible selection and endogeneity biases. The difference in the behavior of certified and noncertified exporting firms on markets where French retailers operate confirms the network effect that benefits retailers’ suppliers, which is lost when French retailers exit from the destination country.