The Netherlands witnessed in the 1990s the emergence of novel expressions of collective action among farmers. Building upon a rich tradition of agricultural cooperativism as well as outcomes of regional farming style research (see blog 10), these novel forms of collective action aimed initially especially for more farmer-friendly agri-environmental and nature policy measures. Continue reading
Farming styles refer to a cultural repertoire, a composite of normative and strategic ideas about how farming should be done. The notion goes back to early work of Hofstee, the founding father of the Rural Sociology Group, initially by focussing on the cultural backgrounds of inter-regional differences in farmers’ uptake the agricultural modernisation logics. Late 1980s the notions re-appears, changing the focal point to intra-regional significance of differentiating farmers’ responses in relation to the various sustainability problems that characterize these same modernisation logics.
Recently our rural sociology group finished an European research project on collective farmers marketing initiatives. The COFAMI project identified a broad set of enabling and limiting factors to explain the emergence of and dynamics within farmers’ driven collective action and developed a methodology to assess their impacts on different types of territorial capital assets. Empirial material from Italy, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and The Netherlands covers collective farmers initiatives in fields as high quality food production, provision of new rural goods and services and region branding. A summary of recommendations, reports and other project material can be downloaded from www.cofami.org.