Agricultural Producers Associations and Reorganization of Milk Supply in Italy




RAMA, D. and C. LANCIOTTI, 1999. Agricultural producers associations and the reorganization of milk supply in Italy. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 5:361-374

In the milk sector of Italy there exists a network of local associations, mainly at the _province_ level (presently, 80 local milk producers associations exist) linked with a national union. The Law N. 468/92, concerning the management of the quota system, assigned to the local associations the task of performing the compensation between producers. Recently they have been relieved from this function (by the Ministry of Agriculture Decree of 8 May 1996), which was the unique or predominant activity of many of them ; this opened a debate among producers associations about the way they will be reorganised in order to come back to their institutional functions.
Focusing these aspects, our study will analyse the structure of milk producers associations in terms of size, geographic location, human resources, computing equipment, financing and investigate the links of these structural aspects with the operational activities of the associations, especially trading activities, production monitoring, services for the members and common interest projects. The final objective will be to identify one or more organisational models, according to the characteristics of the environment where they operate, for a reorganisation of the milk supply.
As the possibility of affecting the commercialisation of milk is related to the structure of milk purchasers, particular attention will be dedicated to the relations between the activity of associations and the concentration of the dairy companies operating in the same geographic areas. Another point of interest will concern the links with producers co-operatives, with other organisations (technical associations, interest groups, etc.) operating in the same areas, and with local administrative bodies. Finally, since some activities of the producers associations need a national co-ordination (as for example information on market situation, inter-professional relations management, members production monitoring) a further point will concern the relations between the local associations and their national union.

Key words: Italy, milk supply, agricultural producers associations, reorganisation