The Influence of Clusters on the Competitiveness of Hog Production: The Example of Northwestern Germany

Mark Deimel, Ludwig Arens, Ludwig Theuvsen


In recent decades the northwestern part of Germany (Weser-Ems region) has come to focus on intensive pork production. This has led to public outrage about the disposal of biological waste, farmers’ complaints about the high cost of leasing land, soaring risks of animal diseases, and the decreasing popularity of intensive animal husbandry. However, despite these problems, due to a beneficial cluster structure, the region is a successful market participant. To shed some light on the relationship between network relationships in clusters and competitiveness, an empirical survey was undertaken to compare this pork-intensive region with non–pork-intensive regions. Bi- and multivariate analyses reveal a better access to knowledge and information on the part of farmers in the Weser-Ems region as well as a higher regional competitiveness. As a result, the cluster region characterized by intensive hog production is economically more successful.


pork production; cluster structures; competitiveness

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ISSN 1869-6945


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