The overall objective of this project is to address the key aspects of the food chain both that determine the transmission of price changes from farm to consumer levels, emphasising the role of competition in the intermediate and retail stages of the food chain and the broader regulatory environment in which firms in food supply chains across the EU compete.
Given that the characteristics of the food sector vary considerably throughout the member states of the EU, and the observation that experience resulting from the recent commodity price spikes were significantly different across many countries, a key feature of the project will be to address how the variation in the structure of the food chain across different EU Member States contributes to food price adjustment in individual countries. Further, the project will address on-going developments in the food chain with regard to various aspects of vertical coordination in food supply chains, consolidation in the food sector, how the regulatory environment in which firms compete affects the overall functioning of food supply chains across the EU and the extent to which these issues also impact on SMEs.
To this end, the project will address the issue of price adjustment in various dimensions across EU Member States, the selection of Member States reflecting differences in industry structure, the regulatory environment in which firms compete and the experiences they have recently faced with regard to commodity price shocks. The research project will be expected to result in significant new insights that address the functioning of food supply chains across the EU Member States that impact on food pricing transparency throughout the EU.