Farmers’ Organisations

Introduction


Farmer organisations can take several forms of legal structures. The most common legal entities are; cooperatives, producer organisations, and producer groups. Producer organisations are the main actors within the EU agricultural sector.

Producer Organisations 


A Producer Organisation (PO) is composed of a group of producers with the aims to reduce operating costs, achieve a better market position, reducing market volatility, and be environmentally sustainable.

How does it work?


A PO is made up of individual growers who work together, democratically to grow and market their produce. A PO must aim to manage and market 100% of its members produce, although exceptions might apply. Just like an enterprise, a PO shall follow a business plan or an operational programme which is regulated by national and EU law.

Setting up of a Producer Organisation


To be recognised as a PO the group of producers must be a recognised legal entity (i.e. cooperative, ltd. etc.) and be composed of at least 5 members with a minimum value of marketed production (VMP) of 100,000 euro per annum (CAP 447).


The Agriculture Directorate manages the recognition process of a PO through the application of National law:





Funding of PO Programmes


A PO must set up an operational fund, which is composed of funds contributed by members, and EU aid applicable under the fruit and vegetables regime.


Amount of funding for a PO


As a rule, the EU financial assistance is limited to 50% of the total operational fund however, countries such as Malta who have a low PO presence, funding may go up to 60% or 4.6% of the POs value of marketed production.


Criteria for EU Funding


A PO must implement an operational programme which shall run to a maximum of 5 years. The operational programme must be submitted to the Agriculture Directorate by latest 15th September and once approved a formal application may be lodged with the Agriculture and Rural Payments Agency (ARPA) to access EU aid.

The operational programme must contain two or more environmental actions, or at least 10% of the expenditure should cover environmental actions.

The programme must also meet at least 2 of the objectives set out in Council Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013.

The PO must provide detailed documentary evidence that shows how members are benefitting from the programme. Documentary evidence may include:​​
  • Details of all investments and expenditure involved
  • Photographic evidence
  • Financial reporting
  • Member details



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Legislations & Regulations