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Co-operation - Non Food and Forestry Supply Chain

Option closed to new applications


Sustainable and profitable production is a core activity of the land-use sectors and therefore supports economic activity in rural areas. Business support can assist diversification and development of farm and forestry enterprises and support the development of local and national supply chains which in turn supports local communities. The adoption of a co-operative approach, whether between groups of producers or across the various elements of the supply chain, can help to achieve a broader impact than action by a single individual or business.

Under the SRDP, support can be provided to help meet the costs of co-operative activity, through two different funding mechanisms. Through Rural Development Contracts - Rural Priorities you can apply for support for projects dealing with all non food and forestry products.

For all co-operative projects dealing with food products there is also a stand alone scheme, the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Scheme (FPMC) within the SRDP. Further guidance on the scope and eligibility for this scheme can be found elsewhere on this website.

What will this achieve?

The objectives under this Option are to:

  • Encourage co-operation between groups of primary producers or land managers to achieve 'landscape scale' impacts from more joined up working
  • Strengthen local supply chains through support for a co-ordinated approach to production, processing and/or marketing of locally produced agricultural and forestry outputs
  • Facilitate sharing of resources and experience to control costs and increase incomes
  • Improve or rationalise marketing channels or processing procedures
  • Improve profitability, efficiency and transparency across supply chains.

Eligibility Criteria

Groups of two or more sole traders, partnerships or other businesses (including social enterprises) who are involved in the production, processing, retailing or other elements of the supply chain for (non-food) agricultural, horticultural or forestry products.

What costs could be supported?

Costs eligible for funding will include additional incurred costs (both tangible and non-tangible) which are directly attributable to the adoption of a co-operative approach to delivering the identified Regional Priority outcome. The kinds of costs envisaged would include those associated with the production of development plans, feasibility studies, facilitation costs. However, this list is illustrative rather than exhaustive and all applications will be considered on their merits.

Costs will be exclusive to where new co-operation or collaboration is taking place and will not support existing expenditure in respect of current business practices. Where the costs incurred are associated with the development of new products, technologies or processes, support can only be provided for operations prior to commercial use.

To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Individual applications will also be assessed against restrictions set by the relevant State Aid regulations.

Rate of support

Assistance can, in certain circumstances, be up to 100% of eligible costs but in general terms the level of support will be in the region of 50%


In line with the general conditions or Rural Priorities, you may be subject to an on the spot inspection to verify the progress or completion of the activity/product which has been supported.

You will be required to provide evidence that the work has been undertaken and the expenditure made through the production of invoices and evidence of payment. You may also be required, through regular monitoring forms, to provide details of the project and the benefits which the funding has delivered.