Producer cooperation and agricultural sustainability

In Projects by Elta Smith

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides direct income support to farmers, market measures to enhance food security, and development measures to promote rural economies. The CAP recognises the need to address welfare and distributional concerns for producers and promotes cooperation between farmers to rebalance power and stabilise prices and incomes in the sector. Cooperation in the form of ‘producer organisations’ can include agricultural cooperatives, farmers’ associations or private companies with producers as shareholders.

Pond Saksit/Shutterstock.com

Elta is a technical expert for a pilot project on producer organisations to support the European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. The study is led by Ecorys, in collaboration with Arcadia International and Ergo Consulting.

The study analyses the advantages that producer organisations offer farmers in the agri-food system, and their contribution to improving economic, social and environmental sustainability of farms. It also investigates how producer organisations could establish business projects under the CAP from 2021.

The project involves collecting and analysing primary data to measure farm sustainability and develop case studies on interventions with the most potential to support producer organisations. Elta is leading the design and development of a handbook aimed at producers to inform their development of business projects through the framework of operational programmes.