An Investigation into the Dynamics of EU Agricultural Imports from Mediterranean Partner Countries

Samir Mili


This contribution explores the buyer side of the value chains for the main agricultural products sourced from the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) in North Africa and Middle East into the EU, taking Spain as study case of these European import flows. Using the Global Value Chain (GVC) approach, it provides new survey-based evidence for better understanding and profiling the opportunities and constraints for these trade flows, and therefore deriving implications to improve the efficiency of the target value chains both in origin and in destination. Primary information has been gathered using two complementary methods. First, a buyer survey has been conducted through structured questionnaires directed to major Spanish importing and trading companies of orange, strawberry, tomato and olive oil sourced from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Subsequently, survey results have been supplemented by in depth, semi-structured interviews to a representative group of knowledgeable experts from the academic, public administration and business sectors. Results show differences depending on the product and the country studied. The approach used has been efficient in fulfilling the research objectives. It complements conventional quantitative inquiries where available evidence reveals serious difficulties to conduct thorough empirical analysis of the functioning of this trade with quantitative models. It is shown that the suggested approach is an alternative avenue to overcome these difficulties.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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