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Combining cluster and value chain approaches to analyze the competitiveness of fresh vegetables producers: case studies in Germany, Italy and Spain


  • Riedel, Bettina
  • Bokelmann, Wolfgang
  • Canavari, Maurizio


European producers of fresh vegetables are under pressure to improve their performance in order to increase competitiveness. Innovative products and processes and competitive advantage can be gained by the creation and use of unique resources as an outcome of cooperation between producers and complementary actors in local clusters. However, locally clustered producers do not sell to open markets but instead need access to value chains governed by lead firms: the large European retail chains, which decide the rules and conditions of participation. The study claims the necessity to combine aspects from cluster theory with ideas from global value chain approach to discover elements in European fresh vegetable business that could enable local producers to gain competitive advantages in the global market. The study presents results from a multiple case-study analysis involving three different European fresh vegetable producing regions in Germany, Italy and Spain. In-depth interviews with practitioners from the respective fresh vegetables businesses revealed interesting changes in organization of business relationships in the European fresh vegetables sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Riedel, Bettina & Bokelmann, Wolfgang & Canavari, Maurizio, 2009. "Combining cluster and value chain approaches to analyze the competitiveness of fresh vegetables producers: case studies in Germany, Italy and Spain," 113th Seminar, September 3-6, 2009, Chania, Crete, Greece 58121, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa113:58121

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