COOPERATION OF DUTCH FARMERS IN FOOD SUPPLY CHAINS

Willy Baltussen; Katja Logatcheva, Michiel van Galen, Machiel Reinders

Wageningen Economic Research

Willy.Baltussen@wur.nl

 

Abstract

In 2018 the position of the primary producers in the Netherlands was investigated by a desk study, a survey among primary producers and a workshop with primary producers. The aim of the paper is to show the present position of Dutch primary producers in food supply chains, their opinion about cooperation and their opinion about unfair practices. The main result is that most primary producers consider their position in the supply chain to be relatively weak compared to food processors and retail. Furthermore, a large majority of the primary producers indicated to work together with colleagues, with huge differences between sectors in kind of cooperation. Notwithstanding the cooperation between primary producers in the Netherlands, supply and demand on the international market tends to determine the price of agricultural products. There is plenty of room for cooperation among farmers within the EU and national legislation without any fear for competition law. This room has recently further extended to support the position of primary producers. In contrast, the possibilities for cooperation in supply chains is far more limited by competition law. Most primary producers have little or no experience with unfair commercial practices by buyers.

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