Monitoring of Prices and Margins in EU Food Supply Chains: Existing and Alternative Approaches

Published on
February 8, 2019

Unfair trading practices and other imperfections of food supply chains have been continuously discussed at EU and Member State level in recent years. Consequently, both the EU and many Member States have started operating price and margin monitoring systems in order to obtain a better insight into developments of prices, costs and profits along food supply chains. This study provides an inventory of the characteristics of food price and margin monitoring systems at EU and Member State level, in international organisations, the OECD and other countries.

A typology of the existing monitoring approaches has been developed based on their quantitative in-detail evaluation. This is accompanied by a review of scientific literature empirically assessing asymmetric vertical price transmission along EU food supply chains. We have identified gaps in these existing methodologies and available datasets. Based on this comprehensive evaluation of the state of the art, three alternative food price and margin monitoring approaches have been proposed. The existing and alternative monitoring approaches have been ranked according to their cost efficiency. The practical use and value of two of these alternatives is illustrated by applying them to the supply chains of dairy, pig meat and apples in Bulgaria, France, Poland and the Netherlands.

The authors

The authors are Dusan Drabik, Liesbeth Dries, Michiel van Galen, Cornelis Gardebroek and Rico Ihle of the the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group (Wageningen University and Research) as well as Willy Baltussen, Michiel van Galen, Katja Logatcheva and Elsje Oosterkamp of Wageningen Economic Research.