As the most intensive form of partnership in agriculture, farming collectives (FCs) place high demands on their participants. Based on a census of Swiss farming collectives, three success indicators are formed. The first and second describe interpersonal and economic success respectively, whilst the third encompasses overall success. Factors influencing success are determined by means of multiple regressions. Five predictor variables (compatibility with co-operation partner, trust, information quality, attitude of social environment, and relationship/kinship circle of the cooperation partner) accounted for 44 per cent of the variance in interpersonal success. Economic success was far more difficult to explain (R2 = 0.11). Even so, the influence of “soft” factors, even on the economic success of a farming collective, is striking. Above all, trust and the human and structural compatibility of the cooperation partners play an important role for all three types of success. The co-operation agreement, agricultural consultation, the number of participating people on the farm, and the investments made may be ranked as less important than previously assumed.


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