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Empowering Family Farms Through Cooperatives And Producer Marketing Boards

W. Moran, G. Blunden, A. Bradly
Published 1996 · Economics

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AbstractThe connections between family farms and the organizations linking them to the agrocommodity chains have been neglected in debates about the reproduction of family farms. We use the example of cooperatives and producer marketing boards in the main agricultural export industries of New Zealand to inform this debate. Regulation by central government has been crucial to the establishment and continuance of producer marketing boards, especially in the face of substantial neoliberal criticism of their very existence. Critics of producer marketing boards—the New Zealand Department of Treasury, nonfarm capitals, and one corporate agriculturalist—argue on the basis of theoretical efficiency, but offer little empirical evidence. Using insights from the family farm and cooperation literatures, we argue that cooperatives and producer marketing boards help shield family farms from the full costs of market relations, assist shareholders in capturing downstream profits, enable farmers to develop and maintain ow...
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