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An Examination of the Market Structure of the U.S. Produce Industry

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  • Epperson, James E.

Abstract

Recent literature, largely from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, indicates that substantial changes have occurred in the produce industry in recent years. With the rise of retail mass merchandisers and increased concentration in the retail food industry, the procurement power of these large firms reportedly has also increased. With direct buying and contracting, market intermediaries such as brokers and wholesalers allegedly are being bypassed. As a result, these market intermediaries ostensibly are also consolidating becoming fewer and larger with increased emphasis on servicing the food service industry. However, the findings of this study indicate that there is no convincing evidence that the market structure of the U.S. produce industry has markedly changed since the early 1980s. While supermarket concentration has increased noticeably, the same cannot be said for produce market intermediaries such as brokers and wholesalers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in its series Faculty Series with number 50259.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:ugeofs:50259

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Keywords: Agribusiness; Industrial Organization; Marketing;

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  1. Calvin, Linda & Cook, Roberta L. & Denbaly, Mark & Dimitri, Carolyn & Glaser, Lewrene K. & Handy, Charles R. & Jekanowski, Mark D. & Kaufman, Phillip R. & Krissoff, Barry & Thompson, Gary D. & Thornsb, 2001. "U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing: Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues," Agricultural Economics Reports 33915, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Handy, Charles R. & Thompson, Gary D. & Glaser, Lewrene K., 2001. "Recent Changes In Marketing And Trade Practices In The U.S. Lettuce And Fresh-Cut Vegetable Industries," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33601, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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