IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A value chain and cluster perspective on competitiveness of European fresh vegetable production – Case studies from Germany, Italy, and Spain

  • Bettina Riedel

    ()

    (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

Registered author(s):

    In the present study we combine cluster theory with a value chain approach, with the aim of discovering elements of the European fresh vegetable business that could enable local producers to gain competitive advantages in a global market. European producers of fresh vegetables are under pressure to improve their performance and increase their competitiveness. Competitive advantage can be gained through innovation and by using unique resources stemming from cooperation between producers and complementary actors in local clusters. However, locally clustered producers do not sell to open markets but need access to value chains governed by lead firms, the large European retail chains, which set the rules and conditions of participation. The study presents first results from a multiple case-study analysis involving three different European regions in Germany, Italy and Spain specialized in fresh vegetable production. In-depth interviews with practitioners allowed us to confirm some main trends in business organization in the European fresh vegetable industry, but also to point out some interesting peculiarities of this industry. Local fresh vegetable producers become competitive due to their integration both in local production and wider marketing networks, where unique knowledge is created and interchanged by personal relationships. Further concentration on the local level is claimed to countervail power imbalances that usually favor buyers. The need for leading supermarket chains to build up direct relationships with key suppliers disturbs the functioning of existing relationship patterns in the local cluster. Creation of exclusive relationships with retail chains is pursued by entrepreneurs of innovative producing farms who treat their special knowledge and capacities as competitive advantages in the sharp competition in world markets and do not share it with other cluster actors.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/54094/2/DEIAgraWorkingPaperSeries_2009-001_Riedel20091014.pdf
    File Function: WP version, October 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural Economics and Engineering in its series DEIAgra Working Papers with number 9001.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2009
    Date of revision: Oct 2009
    Publication status: Published in Agecon Search
    Handle: RePEc:bag:deiawp:9001
    Contact details of provider: Postal: viale Giuseppe Fanin, 50 - I-40127 Bologna
    Phone: +39 051 2096104
    Fax: +39 051 2096105
    Web page: http://www.agrsci.unibo.it/deiagra/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Timothy Sturgeon & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gary Gereffi, 2008. "Value chains, networks and clusters: reframing the global automotive industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 297-321, May.
    2. Schmitz, Hubert, 1999. "Collective Efficiency and Increasing Returns," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 465-83, July.
    3. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
    4. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
    5. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2008. "Inter-firm relationships in global value chains: trends in chain governance and their policy implications," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 258-282.
    6. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2002. "How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 1017-1027.
    7. Carlo Pietrobelli & Federica Saliola, 2008. "Power relationships along the value chain: multinational firms, global buyers and performance of local suppliers," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(6), pages 947-962, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bag:deiawp:9001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maurizio Canavari)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.