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Contractual relations in dairy production and the evolution of dairy farms in two French regions

This project contributes to a comprehensive survey of the French dairy industry, where deregulation has made relations beteen dairy farms and the dairy industry more flexible. The price, volume, and the quality assessment of milk are now subject to contractual arrangements. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods, I analyze the implementation of these reforms through a comparison of two French dairy regions. Interviews allow me to understand how contracts are negotiated. I consider both the dairy industry's commercial strategy and the way dairy farmers adjust to their contractual relationships on an individual level. A quantitative analysis based on the agricultural census, the milk delivery database, and the farming plot register will provide additional insight. It will compare the trajectories of farms according to their location and the characteristics of their downstream contractual arrangements, thus helping to test the hypothesis of a differentiation of milk production.