Contractual arrangements between farmer cooperatives and buyers in China
The agrofood market in China is dominated by spot market exchanges of small farmers and various small traders, with only minor penetration of the modern supply chain at the farmgate. The emerging Farmer Professional Cooperatives (FPCs) are expected to facilitate vertical coordination. The overall goal of this study is to investigate the contractual arrangements between the FPCs and the buyers. Based on a national representative survey of 157 FPCs in China, this study shows that 32% of FPCs introduced written contracts in the primary marketing channel. Contracts are more likely to be adopted in the livestock sector and are positively related to the scale of production. While branding promotes contracts between FPCs and buyers, public certification of quality and food safety often substitutes for contracts. Furthermore, the membership heterogeneity of FPCs affects an FPC’s decision to use contractual arrangements with the buyer.
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