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It is often hypothesized that geographical proximity in clusters (or industry districts) has positive effects on access to information and knowledge and on firm competitiveness. We present one of the first empirical tests of this hypothesis in the context of the European agribusiness sector. A large-scale empirical study was conducted in the northwestern part of Germany, which is one of Europe’s leading pig production regions. The results of the farmer survey show that the cluster in north-western Germany provides good structural preconditions for the comprehensive network participation of pig farmers. Additional analyses show that farmers’ network participation has positive effects on access to information, their perceived level of informedness and the competitiveness of their farms. The results have interesting implications for farm management as well as political decision-making and public administration in regions with high livestock densities.


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