Cluster analysis of beef production distribution in Europe
Keywords:bovine, meat production, cluster analysis, Euclidean distance
Fragmentation and poor connection within the beef production industry affects its positive contribution to the economy, land management, and development of rural areas. Despite the third place in world beef production European countries have achieved one of the best results in environmental management of cattle breeding worldwide. On the other side there is a huge variability of beef and veal production on national and regional level, reflecting the varied geographical, economic and social requirements of different European regions. Even in case of moderate beef consumption (16 kg per capita per year) in the European Union, meat as the source of proteins of animal origin is connected to higher value added, higher employment, profit and incomes in agriculture comparing to crop production. On the other side it also requires higher investments and represents a greater risk. Different levels of agrarian subsidies and the efficiency of their use exacerbate the differences in the production of beef and veal in the countries of the European Union. In submitted paper we investigated beef production distribution similarity of selected countries in Europe. Quantitative approach was applied using cluster analysis in accordance with the Ward's minimum variance method with previous computation of similarity of the territories through the Euclidean distance. Three clusters representing the beef production similarity among the explored countries were visualised by dendrograms within observed steps in the year 2008 and the year 2017. Order of similarity and dissimilarity in beef production according to the Euclidean distance values of all the possible pairs of the districts from the whole data set in observed countries was processed for examined period of time. Finally, the heat maps were constructed to demonstrate the similaritity between each pair of the comprised countries. Obtained results could serve as a valuable resource for meat producers to understand the time dynamics impact and differences in level of beef production in European countries.
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