Swedish agricultural co-operatives in the European Union

Date of publication: February 1, 1996


After Sweden became a member of the European Union, an uncertain period arised for the Swedish agricultural co-operatives. Before agricultural co-operatives operated on the domestic market. The surplus production was exported with export subsidies. Due to a strict distribution of the domestic market in geographical regions and the restriction of imports by import levies, there was hardly competition. The EU-membership meant that the Swedish market became a part of the Common Market. It also meant an abolishment of the import levies and the export subsidies for trade within the European Union. This paper describes an analysis of the problems Swedish agricultural co-operatives expected to meet. The analysis is divided in three parts. The first part describes the influence the Swedish competition legislation has on the development of agricultural co-operatives. The second part describes the co-operative principles practiced in Sweden, and the third part is describing possible strategies for agricultural co-operatives to cope with the increasing competition.

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