The winner of the expanding meat industry : A study of the power structures within the production chain of beef meat produced in Brazil and consumed in Sweden
The overall purpose of this study is to examine what consequences might be connected to Swedish meat consumption. To illustrate this, the production chain of beef meat, produced in Brazil and consumed in Sweden, has been mapped and investigated. The analytical focus of this study has been on power distribution within the chain, aiming to outline its socio-economic consequences in the Brazilian context. The empirical data was collected partly from secondary sources, but also from primary sources through interviews with key informants in the buyer-end of the production chain. The Global Value Chain approach served as a methodology for mapping the production chain and as a theoretical device for analysing the embedded power structures.The main result, besides an overview of the beef production chain, was an identification of the chain as buyer-driven. Power is particularly concentrated around supermarket chains, which have very specific requirements on production and processing, implemented by the importing firms, thus also having a huge influence. Power concentration was also discovered in the levels of farming and processing, where the number of acting units declines frequently. The Swedish beef consumption thus seems to contribute, however small-scaled, to the process of power concentration along the chain of production, making market entrance a scarce asset. Potential socio-economic consequences of this process, besides unequal access to influence, might be longer travels or changed city of residence for workers, or even employment losses due to inadequate education. Low-income consumers might become vulnerable since cheap low-quality meat becomes inaccessible. Moreover, this thesis has also raised additional questions, suitable for further research, regarding the impacts of Swedish meat consumption.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:brazil development global commodity chain globalization livestock meat production power structure supermarket vegetarian value
Date of Publication:06/05/2007