In this article, the concept of traceability in food quality control is systematized. The interfaces among traceability, labeling, brands, standards and certification are presented. In addition, the differences and connections between identification and traceability are explained. The asset specificity of information and of the organization structures required to implant tracing systems are outlined according to the Transaction Cost Economics (TCE). The importance and difficulty of establishing such systems are described as functions of government interests, as well as the interests of various agents in the agro-industrial system. In the examples, emphasis is placed on the soybean and beef chains.