Farmer-Owned Brands?

Dermot J. Hayes, Sergio H. Lence, Andrea Stoppa
March 2003  [02-BP 39] (Revised)

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Suggested citation:

Hayes, D.J., S.H. Lence, and A. Stoppa. 2003. "Farmer-Owned Brands?" Briefing paper 02-BP 39. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


The paper lays out the economic arguments in favor of the establishment of farmer-owned brands in midwestern agriculture and presents four case studies based on successful efforts in this area in the United States and European Union. The case studies involve Parma Ham, Brunello di Montalcino wine, Vidalia onions, and a third-party verification organization. The studies show that these brands can be profitable for farmers and emphasize the importance of restricting the supply of any successful brand. One of the case studies shows that this type of supply control can conflict with antitrust regulations.

Keywords: antitrust, brands, farm profitability, farmer-owned brands, origin control, value-added agriculture.