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Dynamiques des entreprises agroalimentaires (EAA) du Languedoc-Roussillon : évolutions 1998-2010

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After the two studies of 1998 and 2003, the latest “EAA-LR” research, undertaken in 2010 and based on the results of 2009, is permeated by a context of recession, both economic and agricultural, and even more apparent than during the 2003 study, having particularly affected the wine growing sector. Despite this context the turnover for the food processing industry has remained more-or-less stable (in constant currency) since 2002, attaining 8.6 billion Euros. The results of this study on the dynamics of EAA-LR demonstrate several major developments in the Food processing industry over this 12 year period, of which we will focus specifically on the following points : 1. A reduction in the number of establishments (-33% in 12 years), but becoming increasingly large in size (The average number of employees per establishment has changed from 14 to 22 between 1997 and 2009). The first response of regional food industry businesses to the economic crisis has been concentration, with size being an essential part in the improving of competitiveness, allowing for economies of scale, larger investment in materials and also intangible factors (research and innovation programs, implementation of a marketing policy or even a set-up of an exporting presence) 2. An upheaval in the relative weight of different sectors, with a loss of speed for traditional sectors, the main “levers for local agriculture”, such as the “wine” sector and the “fruits and vegetables” sector. Alongside this, “cereal derived products” and “miscellaneous products”, less traditional for the region (and above all requiring less regional agricultural raw materials) have largely increased their sales and are now placed in 2nd or 3rd place regionally, with establishments appearing particularly concentrated. 3. A net increase in exportation, which has progressed by 36% for the period of 2002-2009, establishing itself at 1.5 billion Euros (or 18% of the regional turnover). The 3 exporting sectors being “wine”, “cereal derived products” and “fruits and vegetables”, especially for the latter due to the Saint Charles International market. The destinations for export have also developed since we can see a large increase in destinations outside the European Union, and in particular to Asia and North America. The articles published in this collection propose an analysis on the themes of industrial sectors, branding strategy, innovation, sustainable development, export, logistics, financial performance, business sustainability and finally the specificity of the cooperative sector, so that the strategies of EAA’s and their dynamics can clearly be understood.

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