This chapter reviews the extant literature on industrial organization of the food industry. While recent research has tended to emphasize different stages of the system, the focus is the same conceptually: the extent of buyer power. The key conclusion to be drawn is that there is little robust empirical evidence for food processing firms exerting buyer power, and that there is currently limited data concerning the nature of vertical contracts between food processing and agriculture, but there is a small but evolving body of evidence concerning food retailer behavior and vertical coordination between food retailing and processing.

JEL classification: Q130