Food safety problems such as the BSE and dioxin crises focused attention on traceability systems and the certification of such systems. This study analyzes the status and perspectives of traceability systems and certification schemes, and reviews their potential costs and benefits. Results indicate that traceability and certification in meat supply chains comprise a very dynamic area with an increasing impact. Necessary transparency, control of livestock epidemics, increasing due diligence, and a declining role for governments are critical factors. Findings also reveal there is a general focus on the technical characteristics of traceability and certification, and there is a lack of economic considerations. Therefore, specific topics are emphasized for an economic research agenda, such as an analysis of the break-even point for the level of detail of traceability systems, the reconsideration of liability and recall insurance schemes, and regulatory incentives to motivate adoption by free-riders.