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Encouraging Collective Farmers Marketing Initiatives

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Farmers seek out new markets

European agriculture is ready to meet fresh challenges thanks to an EU-funded project that helped farmers strengthen their collective bargaining power and work together with other economic sectors.

Climate Change and Environment

The 'Encouraging collective farmers marketing initiatives' (Cofami) project helped farmers by improving their negotiating skills, increasing knowledge and disseminating information about best practice. This was achieved by identifying the social, economic, cultural and political realities that shape the formation and progress of collective marketing initiatives. Researchers examined producer cooperation across Europe in order to identify the crucial factors behind the emergence and operation of markets. The findings were used to develop the most suitable strategies for supporting farmers and determine whether they should be carried out at the EU, national, regional or local level. Traditional forms of cooperation among European farmers were enhanced by new types of activity. In addition to the sale of quality and regional products, new marketing initiatives included cooperations between producers and consumers, regional branding and non-food products and services. Cofami harnessed members’ aspirations and enthusiasm to develop new networks that went beyond the agricultural sector. The make-up of each network differed widely and was based on particular areas or communities and involved a mixture of private and public interests. Some initiatives developed from pre-existing organisations and networks, while others were totally new. The key to their success was understanding how the marketing initiatives functioned and their potential impact. This allowed the most appropriate support strategies to be designed and implemented. The different initiatives have the potential to provide employment in rural areas and work alongside other economic activities, thereby enabling the agricultural sector to respond to society’s demands. In addition, Cofami can help in the development of the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of collective marketing. The Cofami project has promoted sustainable rural development and the production of high quality food, which will help improve the quality of life of local people.

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