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.