This paper investigates the drivers of agri-food intra-industry trade (IIT) indices in the European Union (EU-27) member states during the period from 2000–2011. The increased proportion of IIT in matched two-way agri-food trade of the EU-27 member states is consistent with economic integration and economic growth. When export prices were at least 15% higher than the import prices, high-vertical IIT, increased for most member states. This finding suggests that quality improvements occurred when comparing agri-food exports to similar imports of agri-food products. The IIT indices for both horizontal and vertical IIT are positively associated with higher economic development levels, new EU membership and EU enlargement. Additionally, as higher levels of economic development decreases, the size of the economy and marginal IIT increases the effects of agri-food trade liberalization on the costs of the labor market adjustment. Understanding how improvements in agri-food trade quality impact agribusiness and managerial competitiveness reveal significant policy implications.