Project details

Encouraging Collective Farmers Marketing Initiatives – COFAMI

Collective Farmers Marketing Initiatives (COFAMIs) potentially provide an answer to the challenges set to European farmers by changing market and policy conditions. By pooling ideas, experiences and capital they enable farmers to build up market knowledge and linkages, and create a favourable environment for the dissemination of skills and best practices. Also, concentration of offer may open up scale advantages, strengthen the collective bargaining power of producers, and make them attractive market partners for retailers operating at larger scales. More generally, COFAMIs have the potential to reinforce rural incomes and employment, strengthen synergies with other economic activities, and bring agriculture more in line with the demands set by wider society.

This project aims at strengthening the role of COFAMIs by identifying the social, economic, cultural and political factors that limit/enable their development. Additionally, it seeks to formulate viable support strategies to enhance their performance, dissemination and continuity. By means of national status quo analyses and a set of in-depth case studies it addresses the existing diversity of COFAMIs in Europe to determine the relative influence of different types of limiting/enabling factors.

The project brings together research groups from 10 countries, covering all relevant regions of the enlarged EU. Participatory methods and stakeholder consultation play a key role in the research,

  • to ensure that outcomes are optimally grounded in field experiences and
  • to contribute to policy developments with proposals that meet the support of stakeholder groups.

By means of a European Expert Group the expertise mobilised in the project and its geographical coverage is further enhanced. As such, the project aims to contribute to the development of a European Research Area in the field of collective marketing approaches and their role in promoting sustainable rural development and food production.

The project is coordinated by the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University, Department of Social Sciences (NL). The IfLS will lead Work Package (WP) 6, the assessment of the availability of indicator data and identification of information gaps.

Other partners are the Forschungsinstitut Biologische Landwirtschaft (FiBL), Frick (CH), QAP Decision, Theys (F), the Centre for Mountain Agriculture, Innsbruck (AU), the Baltic Studies Center, Riga (LV), the Research Centre on Animal Production (CRPA), Reggio Emilia (I), the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS), Tjele (DK), the Institute for Political Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HUN) and the Czech University of Agriculture, Prague (CZ).

For more information see the project website: COFAMI-Website

Project no.: 



Research | Governance and cooperation |


European Commission, Directorate-General for Research

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2005 - 2008

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Simone Sterly