• The frozen vegetable industry in West-Flanders

      Vanhaverbeke, Wim; Desimpel, Karolien (2009)
      This case describes the Belgian frozen vegetables industry from its inception in 1965 until today. Due to the absence of a large domestic demand, the Belgian manufacturers of frozen vegetables have concentrated on their export markets. They entered these markets with aggressive pricing strategies. Their cost leadership is the result of tough internal competition and the resulting investments in additional productive capacity leading to scale advantages. In addition, high labour costs in Belgium and a labour shortage resulted in enforced automation in the production process. Yet, the industry is nowadays confronted with a concentration movement in the distribution and retail of frozen vegetables, with strong pressure on margins as a consequence. The saturation of the market, increased pressure on margins, soil exhaustion and strong restrictions on groundwater consumption forced Belgian frozen vegetables manufacturers to internationalise and become European wide companies. This case can be used in courses in general management, industry analysis and international business. The case offers students and executives the possibility to apply the central themes of Porter's book 'The Competitive Advantage of Nations' on the frozen vegetables industry in West Flanders. This case was previously numbered DG-1370-E and 302-189-1.