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Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Product Development and Value Migration in the Horticultural Value Chain for Pot Plants

Ekelund, L.; Axelson, J.


This paper deals with the concept value as defined in researcher models and by market actors in the value chain. The value chain is the chain of all actors from the supplier of materials to the growers, on to wholesalers and retailers and, finally, to the consumer, including all transporting and logistics companies on the way. The pot plant industry, consisting mainly of products from protected cultivation, is an expanding line of business. Scandinavia has the highest per capita consumption in Europe, while the Netherlands dominates production and trade with Germany and the UK being the largest markets in value. Supermarket chains, with continuously fewer and bigger units, dominate the European food marketing system. As the supermarkets diversify into non-food, the market for ornamentals changes profoundly. Plant growers and producer organizations see an increasing part of their sales meeting the consumer in supermarkets rather than in specialized shops. In a number of case studies at different levels of the chain the actors have expressed their experiences of value of pot plants. Data arrive from interviews with consumers, retailers, wholesalers and primary producers mainly on the Swedish market but with some international comparisons. A crucial question is what level will take an interest in innovation and product development. Consumers want variety and service. Wholesalers and producer organizations become more of logistics and transport companies than innovative product developers. Supermarkets pass on responsibility and costs of quality control to their suppliers and are not engaged in product development. Innovative growers interested in meeting the demands of the consumers face problems with a value chain focused on technology rather than product development. The scope of the paper is to present the value chain for pot plants, with the aim of explaining the development of value migration and product differentiation. It will be argued that the value migrates to actors positioned close to the end consumer.


marketing; strategy; supply chain management; supermarkets; ornamentals

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2009, Volume: 807, pages: 777-782
ISBN: 978-90-66057-31-9


International Symposium on Strategies Towards Sustainability of Protected Cultivation in Mild Winter Climate

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences
    Economics and Business

    Permanent link to this page (URI)