The challenge of the role of supermarkets for sustainable agriculture and trade related issues
The increasing role of supermarkets
The rapid spread of supermarkets in terms of market penetration and geographical reach has resulted in an important restructuring within the agri-food system in many countries around the world. Supermarkets have increasingly become the dominant outlets of agricultural products, from fresh vegetables produced by farmers to foods processed by multinational companies (TNCs). Agri-food experts1 more and more recognize that supermarkets influence the rest of the agricultural chain up to the farmers’ level. This means a power shift in the distribution chain from suppliers and wholesalers towards retailers. This can have an effect on how developing countries’ products can actually enter markets in industrialised countries, even in liberalised world markets, and on the income or value added for farmers and food producers in developing countries.
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