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Fresh Produce Retail Price Comparisons in Trinidad and Tobago
Published May 2, 2018

As the competitive landscape of the food and grocery retailing sector in Trinidad and Tobago is being transformed and consumers are separated from producers, shoppers are more reliant on price/quality cues in making their purchase decisions. The purpose of this study is to identify the retail outlet with the lowest and or highest price for a se...lected number of fresh produce items, in an effort to direct shoppers to relatively cheap nutritious sources of fresh produce. ANOVA and the Games-Howell test were the analytical procedures used. The ANOVA results indicated that there is statistical difference for all the items at the different retail outlets – farmers’ markets, roadside markets, public markets and supermarkets.

The Games-Howell results obtained indicated that the supermarket mean prices were the highest for all items. Shoppers who purchased pineapple at the farmer’s market instead of the supermarket in 2016 could have potentially achieved the greatest savings of $6.52/kg.

JEL Classification: C12, Q13, M31

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Legal-economic barriers to price transfers in food supply chains
Published June 30, 2012

Recent price movements have put food supply chains under pressure. On the one side, upward price tendencies on commodity markets result in higher costs to processing firms. On the other side, these firms are confronted with a strong retail sector that is able to prevent compensation to protect consumers’ and own economic interests. Regulatory... impediments of European law, especially with respect to foodstuffs, can adversely be utilized as barriers to protect the interest downstream the supply chain. The problem is that legal-economic instruments which can serve to smooth price volatility in supply markets can also opportunistically be used at the expense of the middlesection in food supply chains (i.e., mainly small and medium sized producers). The aim of this article is to identify the legal-economic mechanisms that effect price transfers in food supply chains in the European Union and define policy adjustments to improve pricing mechanisms, while safeguarding the interests of the processing industry. Policy alternatives to improve the smooth functioning of notably intermediate markets in food supply chains are the restructuring of competition law, improved processor information management and creating transparency of value added in the supply chain by means of labelling devices.

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Market trends and consumer demand for fresh berries
Published September 30, 2013

We present an analysis of markets for fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in the United States during 2008–2011. We use weekly panel data covering supermarket purchases in 52 cities. The primary goal is to estimate demand elasticities for fresh berries and thereby provide a better understanding of consumer behaviour response to price changes and the nature of competition among these crops. We estimate fixed and random effects models for double log demand equations and a complete demand system, the Almost Ideal Demand System. The latter specification can be used to estimate demand relationships that conform to utility maximising behaviour. The elasticity estimates are very robust across the different specifications and estimation methods. This increases confidence in our findings and provides some assurance that choice of functional form or estimation method is not driving our results. We find that retail demands for all berry crops are in the elastic range and that the different berries are substitutes for one another. The demand for strawberries was the least elastic with an own price elasticity of –1.26 and blackberries were the most elastic with a demand elasticity of –1.88. Blackberry demand was also the most responsive to the prices of competing berry crops. The study provides clearer insight into markets for berries in the United States. In addition, it fills a gap in the present lack of up-to-date consumer demand elasticities for these crops and will be useful for growers, decision makers and consumers.

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