New CSA Publication in English : ‘Choosing the right strategies for improving farmers’ market power: Putting the instruments to the test’

Instruments mis à l’épreuve

Daniel Van Der Steen, 9 November 2012

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Choosing the right strategies for improving farmers market power {PDF}Choosing the right strategies for improving farmers’ market power’ This publication, produced by CSA in the framework of the second programme (2008-2010) of the EuropAfrica Consortium, is now available in English.

Objectives of the publication

The aim of this publication is to give farmers theoretical and practical foundations for setting up and wielding strategies to reinforce their market power.
The theoretical considerations will improve their understanding of the various instruments by explaining the type of mechanism, aims, implementation, and pros and cons of each instrument. Examples taken from actual practice will give farmers a fuller understanding of how the various instruments’ past and current use, especially the conditions under which they have been implemented, the outcomes of their use, and the benefits and problems that have resulted for the farmers themselves.
Let us add that the publication is a timely answer to a particularly topical need, given today’s context of low agricultural commodity prices and the crisis in which these prices are enmeshed, a situation that is the source of great instability that affects family farms in particular.

Structure of the publication

After an introduction describing the causes and et consequences of the low market poxer of agricultural producers and presenting the different strategies to face the problem, the second part of the publication present the five strategies coverd by the publication, to whit:
1. supply management,
2. collective marketing,
3. contract farming,
4. product differentiation, and
5. getting closer to consumers.

One chapter is devoted to each of these strategies in order to describe the aims, instruments, and ways they are implemented and then illustrate the strategies with real-life examples.
Based on these theoretical and practical considerations and the fact that there is no ‘miracle cure’, no one solution that can be applied to all contexts, the third part analyses the strategies’ variations according to the political context, whilst the final part (Part 4) analyses the strategies and instruments’ respective advantages and disadvantages and looks at the possibility, even the need to combine them.

Although the strategies described in this report have their own objectives, different ways of being implemented, and a variety of implications, they nevertheless have one thing in common: They can all be implemented by farmers, provided that various degrees of support from the public authorities, depending on the case, is provided. That is why the last part of this publication emphasises the roles that farmers and public authorities must play to ensure that the described instruments work properly.

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