"The Emerging Farmer Cooperatives in Transitional China: Governance, Food Safety and Environment"



Since China introduced the egalitarian and quasi-private “household responsibility” in the late 1970s, the decentralized decision-making of family farming contributes to the majority of rural development in China. The smallholder farmers, however, face challenges as the transaction costs related to small farm size become a primary constraint. Farmer organizations therefore are believed to be an institutional option to overcome these challenges. In July of 2007, the “Law of Farmer Professional Cooperatives” (FPCs) was promulgated in China and it promoted the development of farmer organizations in years after. The emergence of FPCs in China implies mixture of economic rationale, political will, and social dimension. The governance structure of FPCs in transition China presents hybrid forms of both hierarchy and family farming, affecting the compliance of food safety standards and environmental sustainability in the agrofood system in transitional China.

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George Hendrikse