Global Value Chains and Middlemen. A Comparative Case-Study of Norwegian Agricultural Export

Jostein Vik, Gunn-Turid Kvam


International trade in agriculture open markets abroad for producers and suppliers. However, the capacity to serve these markets are not evenly distributed. For many exporters it is a challenge to access foreign markets and connect to global value chains (GVC). Agricultural markets are often characterised by asset specificity and oligopsonic market structures. These are features that tend to imply hierarchic governance structures and asymmetric dependencies.  Thus, for the exporters, how to engage with partners in order to access foreign markets becomes critical. In this paper we explore how three export initiatives from Norwegian agriculture coordinate and connect to global value chains. We discuss the mode of governance, as well as the role of middlemen. We further discuss the characteristics of the coordination and the strategic implications for the exporting partners. The three cases are export of Whey protein concentrate (WPC 80) from Tine SA, export of the genetic material (The breed Norwegian Red) from Geno SA, and cured meat of lamb legs (fenalår) from the company Fenalår from Norway SA.


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ISSN 2194-511X


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