The laddering method is used to elicit mental models of actors in two cross-border value chains: Norwegian salmon to Japan, and Danish pork to Japan. The mental models are analysed with regard to overlap and linkages between actors in the value chain, with a special view towards elements in the mental models that can be related to actors? market orientation. In both value chains decision-makers have a fair degree of overlap in their views on what drives their business. There are also differences, between the chains, in what decision-makers believe are the major success factors. The pork chain seems to be dominated by thinking in terms of efficiency, technology and quality control, though communication is also acknowledged as important. In the salmon chain, there is a higher emphasis on new product development and on good relations between the chain partners.