An economic and legal assessment of the EU food industry's competitiveness

J.H.M. Wijnands, H.J. Bremmers, K.J. Poppe, B.M.J. van der Meulen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this article is to assess the competitiveness of the European food industry from an economic and legal perspective. Knowledge of its present competitiveness and improvement opportunities are lacking. To close this knowledge gap, we measured the competitiveness of eight subsectors, benchmarked them with four leading world economies, assessed the effect of differences in legal requirements, and predicted future developments using scenario analysis. International economics indicators supplemented with data on legal issues from a survey conducted by leading experts were used to measure competitiveness. The results show that the EU food industry's competitiveness is weak. The legal system was positively evaluated compared to the U.S. system, but major improvements are possible. The recommendations are to improve economies of scale, economies of scope, ICT-based supply chain management, and exploit cultural differences through innovation, within a more flexible and streamlined legal framework
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-439
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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