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UK retail concentration, Chilean wine producers and value chains

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This paper seeks to examine how value chains impinge upon firms within the Chilean wine sector. The value chain analysis will further link the production and export of wine in Chile with the import and retailing of this wine in one key core economy market, namely that of the UK. The analysis is divided into three sections. First, the political economy of value chains in agro-industry is discussed, particularly in relation to the distinction between network or quasi-hierarchical relationships. Then the paper examines the theme of retail concentration in the UK and the impacts that this has on global value chains which incorporate Chilean wine firms. The focus then moves to value chains and the nature of upgrading within Chilean wine firms by examining the strategic example of the lead firm and firm upgrading as a response to demands of UK retailers and through the flying winemaker model. Broad conclusions on the comparative nature of value chains and the scramble for value within them are finally made.

Keywords: Chile; firms; retail concentration; upgrading; value chains; wine

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2008


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