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Abstract

The purpose of the article was to indicate selected distribution channels in groups and organizations of fruit and vegetable producers in countries with different agrarian structures and cultures of horizontal organization, as well as identify differences in preferred distribution channels. Based on the literature review, changes in the supply chain of agri-food products were presented and the growing importance of retail chains was pointed out. Using the data obtained from the European Commission, the weight of individual distribution channels was presented, and by Ward agglomeration cluster analysis using Euclidean distances, 3 disjointed clusters of countries with different characteristics of fruit and vegetable producer groups/organizations were selected. The first cluster consisted of few producer groups/ organizations from Great Britain, Denmark and Romania, whose members engaged in a relatively large area of land and dedicated (65%) their production to retail chains, thus obtaining, on average, higher effects (measured by sales value) attributable to both the group/organization and hectare of land. In contrast, the third cluster included producers from countries that are leaders in the production of fruit and vegetables in Europe, that is, from Spain, Italy, France and Poland. What was characteristic for them was that many members possessing a relatively small area of land joined groups/organisations. They dedicated their production (25%) to retail chains, and their advantage, which may affect the largest share of the average value of sales per member, is the processing of raw materials as part of their own operations.

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