Environmental co-operatives : A Dutch farmers' initiative
There are in the region of 125 environmental co-operatives
(EC) in the Netherlands. EC are groups of farmers and often non-farmers who started to co-operate principally to argue for policies that allowed them to incorporate conservation and environmental management into their farming practices. In doing this EC have also delivered benefits to their farmer members, the farming sector in general, the Ministry of Agriculture and the rural economy. EC are defined by their activities; the activities of seven EC are presented and discussed. The EC are to an extent similar, reflecting their similar policy and economic environment, but different in that they focus on local and regional problems. The paper concludes by considering the potential for farmer-led EC in the UK.
This paper is drawn
from research financed under the first round of Rural Economy and Land
Use (RELU) programme. The final report will be available in late 2005.