ACCESSION TO THE EU: DID IT BOOST THE EXPORT COMPETITIVENESS OF THE ESTONIAN FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY?
This paper seeks to answer the question about whether the investments made by Estonian food processing companies to meet the EU’s strict hygiene and structural requirements have enhanced their competitiveness and opened up better export opportunities to the EU-15 market. Enhanced competitiveness means not only larger export volumes, but also redirection of exports towards higher value-added products. The current study focuses on the milk, meat and fish industries, concluding that in general, foodstuffs exports to the EU-15 have increased, but only the milk processing industry has experienced a shift towards value-added consumer products. This shows that the Estonian food industry has not (yet) been able to reap the benefits of the EU market, and further investments in product development and quality, as well as in larger production volumes are necessary.
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