HORTICULTURAL CO-OPERATION IN SWEDEN
The formation of a co-operative seems to have helped increase the market shares of a production region. The Swedish horticultural policy is aimed at promoting the efficiency of the sector through advisory services, support to co-operatives, financial aid, research and education. During the 1980s, horticultural policy became more decentralised and the policy measures were often combined with regional policy schemes. These measures correspond to the increase in regional vegetable production and the decrease in market shares of the southern province Scania (Skåne). There has been a strong tendency towards co-ordination of horticultural production and marketing at a regional and local level. The development of production is reflected in the development of the co-operatives. The large Scanian co-operative Mäster Grön expanded in greenhouse vegetables as did the province, while they lost shares of field production.
The paper is based on Ekelund (Axelson) (1991) with updated results. In early 1992 Mäster Grön went bankrupt, and sales were split up in new organisations. This co-operative and its auction played a crucial role in the price formation and Swedish horticulture is now characterized by a great deal of uncertainty. At the same time, the role of the wholesale units of the food chains is undergoing changes.