Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry

Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry


6 Business dynamics

6.1 Firm demography

In the business dynamics study the Eurostat database is used. This database

gives a complete demographic picture of dairy processing companies in

selected countries. Eurostat contains data of companies from 1995 to 2005

which nearly coincides with the time period in our sample data. The population

of enterprises in each country is indexed based on 1996 data, except for

Germany, which is indexed based on 1999 due to absence of data.

Table 6.1 Number of selected firms and their share in the total


Country Number of Share (%) in Firm entry Firm exit C4-ratio


total turn- 1996-2005 1996-2005 (NL CR3) in

over in


(number) (number) 2005

France 579 41 159 30 43

Germany 92 48 13 - 43

Italy 1,427 41 458 99 12

Netherlands 50 94 14 - 77

UK 299 91 18 27 n.a.

Poland 188 66 144 16 27

Total 2,635 806 172

Source: Eurostat SBS database.

As shown in figure 6.1, the population of firms is substantially declining for

Italy, the UK, and Poland while the change for France is only slight. In contrast,

the number of firms in the Netherlands is increasing. This is a surprising result,

given the well-known dairy companies have gone through a series of mergers.

Most likely these Eurostat data reflect the development by some farmers and

traders of new dairy or ice-cream companies (Heida zuivel, among others).

For Germany, it is difficult to determine the trend but it is increasing if we

smooth out the fluctuations.

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