Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry

Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry


These approaches generally focus on the decision making of individual

firms. The selected approach in this study is more suited to compare countries

and continues building on other approaches used for EU studies (see e.g. O'Mahoney

and Van Ark, 2003). In the descriptive parts of each industry, several

other variables are discussed, such as the consumption, self-sufficiency, import

and export patterns of the main countries, the structure of the industry and the

leading companies. These variables are related to the outcome of the aforementioned

5 indicators but also provide some evidence to support conclusions

related to other scientific disciplines. The variables are presented at nominal

level, in order to increase the recognition by stakeholders from the industry. In

conclusion, the final overall qualification of competitiveness is based on international

indicators, but the descriptive part also gives information linked to the

theories based on the decision making of individual companies.

The European dairy industry will be benchmarked against the US and Australia,

Brazil and Canada. The selection of these countries is based on the importance of

their exports. Unless stated otherwise, the EU-15 is selected because the EU-25

started in 2004. Second, in the benchmark with third countries, the extracommunitarian

trade figures are used, while the intra-EU trade is excluded.

Some important countries like China, India and Japan are not included due to

lack of data with an equal detail as the EU and selected countries. Furthermore,

the 15 EU countries will be presented, benchmarked against all EU-25 countries.

In this case the export of each country is taken, including the intra-communitarian

trade. It also presents the internal EU competition on the domestic EU market.

The aforementioned indicators have different scales. To compare the different

scales, the values will be standardised. All variables will have the same dimension

and can then easily presented in one figure. Furthermore, the mean of

these values can be calculated as an indication of the overall competitiveness.

In this case, the implicit assumption was that the weight or importance of each

indicator is equal.

However, this method also has a disadvantage. The standard scores depend

on the number of countries and the levels of indicators in the sample: the standard

scores are not fixed. If the benchmark countries or the levels of indicators

change, the position of a specific country will also change.

The terminology to qualify the competitiveness is taken from the SWOT

analysis method: Strong and Weak. These are relative qualifications: since the

performance is compared to other countries. The selected countries influence

the qualification. The qualification might be quite different if other countries are

selected as benchmark.

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