SLI-Report 2007:3

Price premiums of Swedish agricultural products?

Authors: Joakim Gullstrand  Cecilia Hammarlund 

Swedish agricultural products are often claimed to be produced with higher levels of food safety, and with methods that are more environmentally and animal friendly, than products from other countries. As a result, the Swedish agricultural debate has been focused on what is preventing these values from being transformed into price premiums on agricultural products.  The purpose of this report is to analyse these price premiums, to discuss the logic behind the assumption that certain production methods will lead to price premiums and to analyse the often cited solution to the failure of getting paid for country-specific methods of production: country-of-origin labelling.

Import prices of 262 agricultural products on different markets over different years are calculated. The purpose is to measure systematic price differences between Swedish products and products from other countries. The effect of origin labelling on Swedish products is also measured to find out whether compulsory origin labelling has given Swedish producers any advantages.

The analysis shows that, in a majority of cases, it is not possible to find any price differences between Swedish products and products from other EU countries. When differences are found, which is true in 10 per cent of the cases, Swedish products are often valued less than other products. The valuation of Swedish agricultural products has also decreased after Sweden entered the EU in 1995, which suggests that charging price premiums due to Swedish production methods has not been possible. Country-of-origin labelling has had a positive effect on the valuation on processed Swedish products. When it comes to homogeneous products, i.e. products that are more dependent on agricultural production methods, no such effect is found.

This analysis does not support the idea of a general price premium in Swedish agricultural production. Some exceptions are found but price premiums are more often found when products have been processed. This suggests that processing, rather than specific Swedish production methods, is important to Swedish producers.


Joakim Gullstrand

Cecilia Hammarlund

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