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Research Project into Producer Organisations and Co-Operatives - DO0133

Co-operation and collaboration is recognised to have many benefits within the agricultural sector. This may be horizontal where farmers work closely together to achieve greater efficiency in production, for example by sharing machinery, sourcing inputs or improving strength in marketing. There may also be vertical collaboration where farmers work closely with their supply chain customers (processors / manufacturers) to enable greater efficiency and hence value to all in the chain.

There is a need to research this very significant policy area which has strong links to the competitiveness agenda. Defra need better information on what makes successful PO’s and Co- Operatives, as well as underlying attitudes to PO’s and Co-Operatives, including those of farmers. Similarly a greater understanding of farm and farmer characteristics associated with this form of collaboration would be beneficial to policy makers.

There might also be opportunities for development on the part of PO’s, for example to perform productive roles in a range of vital areas, including underpinning supply chain efficiencies, knowledge transfer, sophisticated risk management functions and in promoting applied research and innovation.
The aims of the project are:

1. Review the current position and evidence.
2. Establish the baseline re farmer participation in formal collaboration arrangements.
3. To identify a means to measure success of PO’s/Co-Ops, the ingredients behind successful PO’s/Co-Operatives , the transferability of these to this country (when they relate to PO’s abroad), and any barriers, including market failures, associated with the development of PO’s/Co-Ops.
4. Explore any possible downsides of POs.
5. Report on policy implications and make recommendations.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Conditions, attitudes and structures of successful POs and cooperatives   (4830k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £67,925
Contractor / Funded Organisations
European Farming and Food Partnerships Ltd