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Co-operative agreements in agriculture - NT1849

Description
Objectives
To analyse the political feasibility of co-operative agreements between farmers and the water supply companies and regulatory authorities as an instrument to meet environmental standards as economically efficient and ecologically effective as possible.

Policy Relevance
Controlling agricultural pollution remains one of the biggest challenges to policy makers. Agriculture has a significant impact on the water environment. However, control measures are difficult to implement for both technical and political reasons and Member States continue to struggle to find effective control approaches. Co-operative agreements with farmers have been used effectively in Germany, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe to comply with environmental standards whilst minimising the costs involved. However in many countries such agreements are rare. The primary task of this research project is to explore the reasons for this and to investigate special policies or measures to establish co-operative agreements on a wider scale.

Summary
The project will review all Member States and will be undertaken over a 2-year period. The work will be undertaken by a European team led by the University of Dortmund in Germany. WRc are the UK representatives on the team.
The objectives will be met through five specific tasks, as follows:
- Analysis of the causes, requirements and outcomes of co-operative agreements where they are common;
- Comparison of the economic efficiency and ecological effectiveness of co-operative agreements with that of charges and command and control regulations;
- Investigation of the reasons why in many EU Member States co-operative agreements are not widespread;
- Exploration of special policies assisting the creation of co-operative agreements;
- Assessment of the economic efficiency, ecological effectiveness and social acceptability of establishing co-operative agreements in EU Member States where such agreements are not common.

Note: WRc will undertake case-studies for the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. The other teams will cover the remaining 11 member states. The contribution sought from MAFF will partially fund WRc’s input. Additional funding will be provided to the other team members from the European Commission to a value of £313k. The total value of the project is therefore £460k.

Use of results
The information collected will be analysed to identify conclusions, regarding the European water policy in connection with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Objective
The overall aim of the project will be met through specific objectives, as follows:
- Objective 1a: To prepare an overview of the extent of use of co-operative agreements in agriculture in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal (+6 months);
- Objective 1b To organise an international workshop to review the results of the overview, discuss the selection of case-studies and refine the methodologies for case-study analysis (+9 months)
- Objective 1c To analyse of the causes, requirements and outcomes of co-operative agreements where they are common (using selected case studies in the UK ) (+12 months);
- Objective 2: To investigate the reasons why in many EU Member States co-operative agreements are not widespread (using selected case studies in Ireland, Spain and Portugal) (+12 months);
- Objective 3: To compare the economic efficiency and ecological effectiveness of co-operative agreements with that of charges and command and control regulations (using selected case studies in the UK) (+ 15 months);
- Objective 4 To explore the use of special policies assisting the creation of co-operative agreements (using selected case studies in the UK) (+15 months);
- Objective 5: To assess the economic efficiency, ecological effectiveness and social acceptability of establishing co-operative agreements in EU Member States where such agreements are not common (using selected case studies in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal) (+ 20 months);
- Objective 6: To make recommendations regarding European water policy in connection with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (+24 months).
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final Report   (70k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2001

Cost: £149,709
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Water Research Centre
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Fertilisers and Nitrate Pollution