Since Sweden joined the EU in 1995, food exports from Sweden have increased. The share of food production being exported has increased from 12 to 20 per cent, but is still low compared to other sectors. In order to improve the situation, the Swedish government commissioned SLI (together with other authorities) to analyse the situation from different points of view.
The main findings of the analysis are:
- Exporting food companies have a higher productivity than non-exporting companies, they invest more in R&D and they pay higher salaries
- Export successes in the food industry are connected to high-value added products and appear in all kinds of product groups.
- General measures to accomplish an increased productivity are probably more efficient in order to improve the export of food industry products than export support directed to the sector.
Also, the effects of the enlargement of the EU with 10 east Europe member states were analysed. The result indicates no negative effects on exports from Sweden, as the new member states do not generally compete in the same segment, i.e high-value added products.