CEPS Project

Labour cost in agriculture

Comparative study


The project was coordinated by GEOPA-COPA ( Employers’ Group of Professional Agricultural Organisations in the European Union) with the support of the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism (EFFAT). It was financed by the European Commission under the heading of Industrial relations and social dialogue. CEPS was invited as a consultant on the project.
It consisted in a new survey-based study focusing on the structure of labour costs across the most economically relevant sub-sectors in agriculture (the fruit sector, horticulture, wine, dairy, livestock and crop sectors) and types of work contracts (temporary and permanent). It had the ambition to establish a firm understanding of the labour cost structure in the agricultural sector. It was meant as a tool to inform decisions between social partners in their daily lives, promoting better working conditions, professional mobility and social inclusion. This project was thought as an instrument for the EU Platform Against Social Dumping and for the Committee of Experts on the Posting of Workers.
The report covered the various facets of labour costs such as gross salary, in-work benefits, payments in kind, remuneration of overtime, premiums, paid holidays, social security contributions and other factors linked to costs.
CEPS conducted background research and comparative research based on the results from the two detailed surveys sent to the twenty-six (26) national organisations of employers that are members of GEOPA-COPA. They represented twenty-two (22) Member States, which allowed for a network of employers in the European agricultural sector to be established which was very representative of the European reality with a clear overview of labour costs in their branches and could highlight particularities with respect to individual labour cost items that were particular to their country, sub-sector, skill-level and/or form of employment contract.

Mattia Di Salvo

Associate Researcher

+32 (0)2 229 39 76

Matthias Busse


+32 (0)2 229 39 45

Ana Silva

Project Officer

+32 (0)2 229 39 83

Karolien Lenaerts

Research Fellow

+32 (0)2 229 39 35

Sara Baiocco

Research Fellow

+32 (0)2 229 39 35