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Developments and Development Directions of Electronic Trade Platforms in US and European Agri-Food Markets: Impact on Sector Organization

By Melanie Fritz, Tobias Hausen and Gerhard Schiefer

Abstract

Electronic trade platforms support trading transactions between enterprises. They have entered the business landscape including the agri-food sector only a few years ago. However, there already have been dramatic changes in the agri-food sectorÂ’s platform infrastructures. This paper analyzes developments in electronic trade platform infrastructures in the agri-food sector of the US and Europe between 2000 and 2002 and identifies development strategies of successful platforms. Of 85 platforms in existence in the year 2000, only 25 remained active in 2002. But there are still market entries of new platforms and existing platforms form various types of partnerships. The analysis could identify a range of strategic development lines of successful platforms. Initiating cooperation with other platforms on the use of specific features and the development and use of standards, gaining support by major market participants, the improvement of trading functionalities and the expansion of value-added services are the primary lines of development and evolvement of platforms. Platform evolvement tendencies and the present occurrence of the trade platform infrastructure allow for projecting the emergence of an agri-food sector with embedded, interconnected e-commerce infrastructure or mega-hub leading towards a more networked agri-food industry.Electronic commerce, Electronic trade platforms, Agri-food markets, Agribusiness, Marketing,

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