Farmer collaboration

The focus of this cluster is on initiatives involving ‘farmer collaboration’ in a wider sense, including different organisational forms and integration of actors from a variety of sectors. The initiatives are: (1) machinery rings in Scotland, which provide opportunities for increased efficiency through access to a pool of resources (including machinery, labour, feed and fuel) for supplier and demander members, (2) a platform for experience exchange and supporting multifunctional strategies overarching from tourism and recreation to education, social inclusion and product transformation in Portugal (‘Crie Montado’), and (3) a German initiative pursuing the provision of capital to organic agriculture with the objective of a sustainable regional economy in financial as well as socio-ecological terms (‘Regional Value Limited’). In the case studies carried out on the three initiatives involved, interviews and focus groups with stakeholders are implemented to gain insights into different emergent transitions related to collaborative processes, including cross-cutting topics of policy framework analysis and the role of young farmers and new entrants. Different as they are with regard to a variety of contextual factors and case-specific aspects (such as spatial setting, temporal stage of development and focus), all three initiatives provide insights into strategies to sustain the viability of farming. A commonality of the three cases studied is their approach of strengthening farmers’ (and other related actors’) position through the creation of networks.