The rise of incorporated farming enterprises: an increasing reliance on paid employees and service providers
Twenty-eight percent of the 507,000 farms in metropolitan France were operating as incorporated enterprises (sociétés agricoles) in autumn 2007. The number of units with this legal status has risen sharply. France had twice as many farms in 1988, but only 7% were incorporated. Incorporated farms now cultivate one half of the usable agricultural area and control 60% of the sector’s economic potential. Corporate organisation remains similar to that of individual farm holdings, for most of their permanent workforce consists of family members. But incorporated farms rely more heavily on paid employees and service providers. Their status also appears to facilitate scale economies.