Producer Organizations in Greek rural regions: “The case of Imathia Prefecture - issues, trends and challenges for the future”

Abstract

Androniki Katarachia

Many studies in agriculture sector have indicated that agrifood cooperatives play a vital role in socioeconomic terms. By acting collectively, cooperative organizations can improve performance and enhance their contribution to local areas. In Greece, the Agricultural Co-operative is by far the most popular form of collective action, however, since “Producers Groups and Associations” is a rabidly increasing type of collective action in the Greek agri-food sector, the study is carried through the Fruit and Vegetable Producer Groups that are grouping Agricultural Cooperatives in Imathia Prefecture, that is one of the most important agriculture regions in Greece. The paper explores historical and cultural issues and focuses on trends and main challenges related to the socioeconomic impact of Producer Organizations on the Imathia rural community. By adopting the case study approach, the paper attempts to quantify their contribution to the economic situation of Imathia, by estimating their performance results in terms of members, annual production, employment, and sales. In Imathia Prefecture operate 23 Producers Groups. The underlying goal of this case study is to determine whether or not Producer Groups business/organisational model offer a promising option for farmers and rural communities in Imathia Prefecture. We argue that Producers Groups can have the potential for contributing to the

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