This paper aims to carry out a first-pass estimation of the power wielded by large-scale retail organisations in the Italian agri-food system, by using the olive oil supply chain as a representative case study. An econometric price transmission model suggests that farmers suffer from big retail’s market power in the olive oil sector. Nevertheless, the increasing power of modern distribution companies in the agro-food supply chain depends on several economic, institutional and policy factors. This is a multi-faceted issue which makes us take into account not only economic but also social, policy, psychological and behavioral aspects too. This complexity can be handled using different empirical approaches: among these approaches, we explore the potential benefits of the so-called "economic-political" framework. From this approach a complex empirical estimation of power presence cannot be discounted.
Keywords: Big Retail, competition, price transmission, olive oil
Jel Code: C32, Q13