Practice & Policy Briefs 

Contracts2.0 summarised a number of findings in short practice and policy briefs



Policy Brief on Economic Experiments

This policy brief offers insights from cross-country discrete choice experiments & public goods games to demonstrate how a well-designed economic experiments can facilitate an evidence-based policy design of agri-environmental schemes.

>> Read the policy brief here <<


Policy Green Paper

Our Policy Green Paper presents innovative contracts for the delivery of environmental public goods in the future EU Common Agricultural Policy. It summarises discussions held in the 9 Policy Innovation Labs and offers detailed insights on the necessary policy contexts and implementation. 

>> Read the Policy Green Paper here <<


Voices from the Field (Practice Briefs) 

Reports on European lessons-learned for alternative contract models and their operating context from practitioner perspective:

Have you ever wondered what farmers would propose when asked to hold the pen for the next generation of agri-environmental contracts? 

In contracts2.0, this question was the starting point to establish our Contract Innovation Labs (CILs) with practitioners such as farmers in 9 European countries. The series “Voices of the field” discusses the results from these labs, from the practitioners’ perspectives.

The first seven briefs explain the lessons learned about the different types of novel agri-environmental contracts, while briefs #8, #9 & #10 evaluate the process of setting up the Contract Innovation Labs and designing novel contracts. The briefs are meant for all who are involved and interested in the design of the next generation of agri-environmental contracts.  

For each brief, we made a short video that lets you actually hear the voices of the field, and hear their personal perspective on the topic of the brief. Enjoy!

#0 Introduction and methodological background > English > Deutsch

#1 It’s not all about money. 

What benefits do novel agri-environmental contracts offer farmers? A narrow focus on financial compensation for farmers is a missed opportunity to ensure additional uptake of much needed agrienvironmental measures. Innovative agri-environmental contracts should take into account monetary but also productivity and nonfinancial benefits to better align with farmer needs and motivations.

> English  > Deutsch

#2 It’s not only about food production! 

We zoom in on the benefits of novel agri-environmental contracts for society. Farmers often provide a wide diversity of indirect and less obvious benefits to society and their local territory. These societal benefits can be grouped into social and cultural, environmental, and economic benefits, and have an impact on the local landscape level, but also on a regional and national level.

> English  > Deutsch

#3 Give practitioners more freedom on how to achieve results in the field. 

All lights on results-based payments in agri-environmental contracts: This type of payment could provide more value for public money, empower farmers and make better use of their knowledge and experience by giving them more flexibility to adapt measures to local circumstances and incentivising them to improve environmental outcomes. The main challenges are the organisation of the monitoring, the financial risk for farmers, and the complexity for administrations. 

> English  > Deutsch

#4 1+1 = 3. Collective approaches create more value for farmers and society.

Advantages and challenges of collective contracts: These contracts create environmental, social and policy benefits, as well as economic and management advantages for farmers. In order to facilitate the growth of new and existing collective approaches, there is a need for an appropriate policy framework at EU and regional level, which takes into account the regional contexts and the cost for facilitation and coordination between farmers. 

> English  > Deutsch

#5 Intermediaries are key in realising agri-environmental contracts.

Intermediaries play an important role in realising agrienvironmental contracts particularly with collective and resultsbased approaches. By bridging different governance levels, they reduce transaction costs for both farmers and policymakers. To ensure their development and continuity, it is important that future policies take into account the (potential) role of intermediaries to facilitate the realisation of novel agrienvironmental contracts. 

> English  > Deutsch

#6 Less is more! Attractive contracts have less paperwork for farmers.

We discuss the administrative burden of novel agri-environmental contracts. Results-based and collective approaches are perceived by practitioners to bring less administrative burden to farmers than conventional action-based individual contracts. However, the extra costs for the implementation of these contracts need to be considered. In the brief, options are proposed to lower transaction costs or reach a fair balance between transaction costs covered by farmers and public authorities.

> English  > Deutsch

#7 Involve farmers in monitoring the effects of agri-environmental measures.

New perspectives on monitoring of agri-environmental contracts. Monitoring is not only important to evaluate the effectiveness of the contracts, but is also important for motivational and learning purposes, especially when involving farmers. Future research and innovation actions should therefore focus on finding robust indicators and cost-effective monitoring tools that could be used by farmers or farm advisors.

> English  > Deutsch

#8 Practitioners are valuable partners for designing novel contracts.

Zooming in on the participatory co-design method that was used in the Contracts project to design novel agri-environmental contracts. Involving practitioners’ knowledge in agri-environmental contract design, and adapting contracts to local needs, promises to increase their uptake and efficiency. Read the brief to understand the lessons learned and possible challenges that are linked to the participatory method!

> English  > Deutsch

#9 Dream big! Envison landscapes before contract design.

The method of creating dream landscapes is explained. Positive visions about future dream landscapes can be used as a compass for designing future contracts. Dream farming landscapes according to practitioners should reconcile socio-economic viability of the farming sector with the provision of environmental services such as pollination, erosion control and water regulation.

> English  > Deutsch

#10 From contract dreaming to implementation: a road of obstacles and opportunities.

Practitioners and policy makers co-created innovative contracts which were then tested and in the best case implemented. The greatest enabler in this implementation process was the enthusiasm of local actors. The biggest challenges were a lack of support from administrators and difficulties embedding the contracts within policy frameworks. These challenges could be overcome by focusing on building trust and good communication, reducing bureaucracy and integrating the newly-proposed contracts into the EU policy.