Norwegian Salmon Goes to Market: The Case of the Austevoll Seafood Cluster

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This paper examines the impact of the globalisation of the farmed salmon commodity chain upon farmed salmon production in the western Norwegian municipality of Austevoll. On the basis of field research conducted in 2002 and 2003, we conclude that salmon farming in Austevoll has responded to the challenges of ‘buyer-driven’ food chains by virtue of its history as a seafood cluster. Despite the vertical relations assumed in the literature on ‘buyer-driven’ food chains, the horizontal relations in Austevoll have proven resilient in this era of ‘homogenised globalisation’. Nevertheless, recent changes in the global farmed salmon supply chain may result in the imposition of vertical relations in the Austevoll cluster. We conclude with suggestions for incorporating the literatures on global food chains and industrial clusters in the study of seafood production and global markets.