The cooperative movement has a long and productive presence in Cyprus going back to the early 20th Century with the pioneering cooperatives that were established to support the farmers. The first successful cooperative bank was established in Lefkoniko in 1909 and it is still active. In the financial sector the cooperative movement controls about 20% of the banking market. In the other sectors such as agricultural products production, manufacturing and sales its influence is extensive but not dominant. The imbalances in bargaining power between the contracting parties in the food supply chain have drawn much attention, also from policy makers. The European Commission is committed to facilitate the restructuring of the sector by encouraging the creation of voluntary agricultural producer organisations. DG Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a large study, “Support for Farmers' Cooperatives”, that will provide the background knowledge that will help farmers organise themselves in cooperatives as a tool to consolidate their market orientation and so generate a solid market income. In the framework of this study, this report provides the relevant knowledge from Cyprus.
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