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Abstract

The latest reform of the CAP, CAP towards 2020, opens up the possibility to arrange agri-environmental service provision via contracting groups of farmers, rather than contracting individual farmers. The Dutch government decided to fully switch to a farmer group service provision system in 2016. The paper analyses the new organisational framework that now is derived and links it to the Dutch tradition of environmental cooperatives. Issues of collective action, transaction costs, information problems, effectiveness, accountability, and procurement efficiency are analysed in a qualitative way. It is concluded that the Dutch model is promising, although not without risks. Its implementation path seems properly chosen. However, in order to fully reap the benefits possible under the new system one need to reduce restrictions and increase incentives.

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