Farmers make increasing use of subcontractors
Farmers are making increased use of external service providers, not only for the management of their facilities, but also and especially for their agricultural activity: the preparation of their land, plant protection treatment, harvesting, milk collection, and so on. The know-how of firms providing services and agricultural machines featuring the latest technological innovations help farmers to implement precision agriculture which is more environmentally friendly. Farmers are thus looking to reduce expenditure in order to cut their costs and maximise their performance. In 2005, farmers spent €4bn buying externally contracted services, which accounts for the equivalent of 6% of agricultural production. Since the beginning of the 1990s, spending on agricultural work has risen significantly and further still on brokers, accountants and consultants. The largest farms make the greatest use of these services, with dairy production leading the way among the specialisations. The maintenance of some certified origin vineyards is now entirely subcontracted.