DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANIC FARMERS’ COOPERATIVES: THE USA, THE EU, AND UKRAINE

Roman Bezus, Ihor Bilotkach

Abstract


The purpose of the paper is to formulate and to present recommendations on the development of organic cooperatives in Ukraine based on the experience of successful cooperatives from the US and the EU. An overview of their formation and financing, implementation of projects in organic cooperatives in different countries provide a powerful basis to formulate recommendations on how to avoid errors and to choose the best solutions for organic cooperatives in Ukraine. Methodology. The research is based on a comparison of data, describing the creation and development of organic farmers’ cooperatives in the US and such EU countries as France, Austria, and Ireland. Also, the actual characteristics of organic cooperatives in Ukraine and marketing cooperatives will be given. According to the obtained comparisons, recommendations on the further development of Ukrainian organic farmers’ cooperatives will be presented. Results. As a result of research, a special set of recommendations was formed. Notably, the following important conditions of successful activity of organic farmers’ cooperatives were indicated, as loyalty to the idea of producing organic products; optimal time planning for the project implementation; the importance of financial literacy training; the need to consider the views of all members of the cooperative; attracting scientists, managers and marketers to coop’s activities and so on. Practical implications. The considered array of practices of organic farmers’ cooperatives in the US and the EU helped to form a special set of recommendations for Ukrainian organic farmers and revealed that ideological factors have a powerful influence on the success of organic cooperatives. In particular, the loyalty to the idea of producing organic products and listening to the opinion of every cooperative’s member helps to overcome the crisis almost as well as additional funding. Value/originality. The presented recommendations provide an opportunity to understand the ways of developing the organic farmers’ cooperative, help to avoid risks optimally and support organic farmers’ cooperative movement in Ukraine.

Keywords


farmer cooperatives, organic agriculture, marketing cooperatives, organic farmer cooperatives, US-EU cooperatives

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30525/2256-0742/2018-4-2-24-31

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