Edited by Jos Bijman, Roldan Muradian and Jur Schuurman
Chapter 1: The changing nature of farmer collective action: introduction to the book
This chapter argues that farmer collective action in developing countries is in a process of transformation. While traditional farmer organizations and cooperatives had social, political and economic functions, the new producer organizations (POs) are mainly focusing on improving the market access of their members. Providing market information, establishing quality control systems and improving logistics are some of the main functions of the new POs. As POs come in many kinds and sizes, the chapter first presents a typology, particularly distinguishing between market-oriented business organizations and other rural membership organizations. This chapter reviews the literature on the role of POs in vertical coordination, contracting and market access. Finally, it discusses the effects of the assumed transformation process on the inclusiveness of the organization, on the efficiency of the internal governance, and on strengthening member relations.