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Project Description


The Food industry is of major importance to the European economy, being one of the largest industries in the EU in terms of value of output, gross value added, employment and exports volume. The increased level of competition has led on one hand, to a continuously increasing concentration in all stages along the supply chain, with a growing number of mergers and acquisitions and on the other, to an increasing pace of innovative technology adoption (use of new technologies, as well as the launch of new products). Within this perspective, for a comprehensive characterization of the current conditions and the future potentials of the EU food industry, certain key issues such as the effects of mergers and acquisitions, technology adoption and the introduction of labeling and other legislative measures on the performance of the Food industry need to be specifically addressed.

The main objective of FOODIMA project is to develop a concise set of methodological tools suitable for a systematic economic assessment of the EU food chain. Based on these tools, an evaluation of the structural changes and the economic performance of selected food sectors in representative countries of the enlarged EU is provided, along with a detailed description of the entire European food chain.

While this is the principal objective of the proposed project, it specifically intends to meet the following scientific objectives:

1.           A solid background description of both the economic structure of the food industry across the EU (e.g., competitiveness, concentration) as well as of the existing tools for the analysis of its dynamics.

2.           The construction of a complete set of theoretical models for the empirical analysis of the effects of mergers & acquisition (M&A) activity on the structure and competitiveness of the food industry.

3.           The development of a concrete theoretical framework to model the process of technology adoption and diffusion in the food supply chain, by analyzing the effects on welfare and market performance.

4.           The generation of a theoretical model for the analysis of the market and welfare effects of different food and labelling standards for conventional, organic and GM food products.

5.           The development of a consolidated methodology for the evaluation of the economic performance and the dynamics of the food supply chain.

6.           The construction of a framework suitable for assessing the interactions and integration of the food industry with the farm sector and to evaluate the industry‚Äôs contribution to the development of rural areas.

7.           The provision of a concise outlook of the food industry and the generation of policy recommendations for EU and national officials. The reports to be delivered at the end of the project will address the issue of policy implications incorporating major findings during the research and suggest policy options in order to enhance the efficiency of EU legislation.

Each of the above objectives refers to specific Work Packages. The formulation of the project can be divided in three different phases in which the included work packages are allocated:

Phase I:   A theoretical descriptive analysis of the EU food industry

Phase II: An empirical analysis of the EU Food industry-Development of analytical tools

Phase III: Integration, synthesis and dissemination-Conclusions and recommendations





 Last update: January 2007