Konkurrenssituationen för den skånska grönsaksproduktionen :
Sammanfattning: The vegetable production in Sweden is concentrated to the very southern parts of the country. This is also were the major wholesalers are located. In recent years, there has been an extreme focus on price on the food market. As there are only a few big wholesalers and also very few food retail chains, these have a great impact on the producers. The pressure from prominent vegetable-producing countries, providing low price products, such as the Netherlands and Spain is strong. During years there has been a development towards fewer but larger and more rational enterprises. The decrease in number of vegetable producers is dramatic and many of the smaller, more local growers are having a hard time staying in the business. The aim of this study is to investigate the competitiveness of the vegetable production in southern Sweden, with a focus on small scale producers with a local profile. We want to learn about the driving forces and obstacles in the vegetable business and what strategies for survival the growers use. Furthermore the roles of different supply chains of individual growers are examined. The starting point for choosing interesting local growers to contact was an already conducted retail study where vegetables were categorized as either Swedish, locally produced, imported or private label, i.e. own labels of supermarkets. Qualitative interviews were carried out with ten different vegetable growers in Scania. Seven of them were visited and the interviews lasted 30-90 minutes. The three remaining ones were interviewed over the telephone and lasted between 30-45 minutes. The growers were asked questions concerning supply chains, product development, brand strategy and competition in the vegetable industry today but also in the future. The interviews were recorded and then written down. To describe the competition on the Scanian vegetable market according to the results of the interviews in a structured way Porter's five forces model and Porter's diamond model were used. In addition to this a swot analysis was carried out to get an overview of the companies, what actions they take and how they relate to the market and other factors that may have an influence on them. The growers claimed that their main competitors are from abroad and that the imports of vegetables constitute a major pressure. For lettuce production there is also an obvious competition within Sweden, which they were very well aware of. Although the rest of the growers said that competition within the country or region was not that strong, they found it important to constantly develop their products and were careful to keep their good ideas for themselves. Several of them also stated that there was not room for more growers with products similar to their own. These facts show that competition is present also within the region. According to the growers there is hardly any threat of potential entrants. On the opposite there is a need for new and young growers to rejuvenate the industry. The bargain power of buyers such as major wholesalers and food retail chains is very strong as they dominate the market and often buy the greater part of the producers total volume. They demand high, uniform quality, various kinds of certifications and delivery stability. The share of private labels is growing in Sweden which is considered a threat to all kinds of vegetable growers as they then become even more anonymous and their products more easily can be substituted with imported ones when the origin is less obvious to the consumer. As the private label products increase their share, it also makes it more difficult for small-scale local growers to sell their products directly to the retailers. The opinion of many growers was that neither the support from government nor industry related organisations was satisfactory. Different strategies for survival were found during the study. The already large-scale producers tend to grow and rationalize even more to meet the demands from big customers. Furthermore, exports are sometimes used to prevent a surplus of products and a decrease in price. Small-scale producers often look for alternative ways to sell their products. This may include direct deliveries to food merchants and restaurants; participation on vegetable market-days and other events. Selling from home is another common alternative. Even though the situation for the vegetable producers in southern Sweden is tough, the future looks bright considering the growing concern of health and environmental awareness, but to be able to take part of this possible bright future, growers have to find succesful strategies fitting their individual prerequisites.
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