In a broad sense, collective contracts are where groups of farmers/foresters/landowners and other actors with a high degree of cooperation establish a formal entity and apply for an AECS agri-environmental scheme collectively. The payment for the activities undertaken to meet environmental objectives and enhance AECPGs is then made to the group in some cases and then shared with individual farmers. But different forms are possible; for instance, payments for the individual farmers can also adhere to a collective.
A vital design step is the identification of actors willing and capable of supporting the implementation of a collective contract, especially associations of farmers, foresters, and environmental organizations. Studies show farmers are not always well-disposed toward cooperative and collaborative features like collective payments or collective decision-making. So it is essential to consider the feasibility of a collective contract and provide the practitioners with the flexibility to evaluate local needs and modify the relevant design. The decision tree mainly includes a loop for decision-making and flexibility before designing a collective scheme. Fig 7 below is intended to help practitioners choose and design efficient collective contracts
Fig 7 Decision tree for designing collective contracts