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Abstract

Apart from the differentiation of productive capacity it brings about, industrial development also contributes to the employment and the redistribution of income among people, social classes and areas. Agricultural industries, in particular, usually located in rural areas, do not only contribute to the utilization of a significant part of agricultural production. Their expansion influences the socio-economic structure of areas. It creates jobs for the rural population, while one of the most important social impacts of their establishment has to do with their contribution to the change in mentality with regard to the role of women, who consist a large part of their employees. The future of many rural areas seems to depend on whether farming activities are combined with other side agricultural or non-agricultural activities. The important role played by agrofood industries in rural development obliges us to examine how this sector was influenced in the framework of the European Union from within the example of the fruit processing industry, which is the most internationalized branch of Greek economy. The accession of Greece to the European Union reinforced the course ofprofitable utilization of its comparative advantages, causing structural realignments and spatial reorganizations.

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