The imbalances in bargaining power between the contracting parties in the food supply chain have drawn much attention, also from policy makers. The European Commission is committed to facilitate the restructuring of the sector by encouraging the creation of voluntary agricultural producer organisations. DG Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a large study, “Support for Farmers' Cooperatives”, that will provide the background knowledge that will help farmers organise themselves in cooperatives as a tool to consolidate their market orientation and so generate a solid market income. In the framework of this study, this report provides an in-depth analysis of the specific situation of Belgian cooperatives producing for the vegetable processing industry. Most of this production is concentrated in the Flemish region of Belgium. The Flemish vegetable processing industry (producing both canned and frozen vegetables) is of considerable importance. The frozen vegetable sector even accounts for 46% of the European frozen vegetable market (Vanhaverbeke et al. 2008). Noteworthy is that seventeen of the eighteen Belgian frozen-vegetable producers are located in or around Roeselare, a midsized town in the centre of Belgian province West-Flanders (Vanhaverbeke et al. 2008).
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