229 research outputs found

    Direct payments coupled to labour force – socio-economic consequences to organic farming –

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    Discussion Labour input on organic farms in Switzerland and Germany is on average 20% higher than on comparable conventional farms (Offermann and Nieberg 2000). Therefore, it is not surprising, that policy-makers expect positive impacts both on organic farming development and on rural employment by modifying the current direct payment approach. However, Dabbert et al. (2002) expect only minor effects to agricultural employment due to the small size of the sub-sector. The supporters of modified payment schemes argue, that coupling direct payments to labour force might lead to a fairer allocation of subsidies. ‘Fairer allocation’ in this context means reallocation of payments from large farms with low labour input per hectare to small family farms where labour input per hectare is higher. The opponents on the other side point out that structural change would slow down

    Governance Structures for the Multifunctionality of Agriculture in the EU - Bottom-up View of Local Stakeholders in Europe

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    The multifunctional character of agriculture has gained increasing attention in both policy and research over the last few years. The most relevant policy initiative for the programming period 2000-2006 in terms of multifunctionality is Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999, while LEADER+ is of particular interest due to its innovative approach to governance (Schader and Stolze, 2005a). In order to improve governance structures it is necessary to find out what the governance situation is at the regional level and what regional stakeholders think about the multi-level governance system. So far, there is little empirical evidence regarding the way local stakeholders perceive governance processes in the EU in terms of rural development. The aims of this study were: - to identify the governance structures relevant to the multifunctionality of agriculture, - to determine the strengths and weaknesses of regional implementation of the second pillar of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, - and to develop recommendations for good governance in rural development policy

    Farmer Consumer Partnerships: WP 5 Report on the results of Consumer Choice Experiments

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    Within the European-funded research project CORE Organic Farmer Consumer Partnership, we tested selected OrganicPlus arguments displayed on organic egg packages in consumer choice experiments in the five study countries of Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The focus was on investigating consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay for the selected OrganicPlus arguments: “from the respective country”, “from the respective region”, “highest animal welfare standards” and “fair prices for our organic farmers: 20cents extra”. Furthermore, the objective was to determine causal relationships between the preferences observed and the relevant characteristics of the consumers by means of a questionnaire-based survey. The data was analysed with multinomial logit models. As hypothesised, organic egg packages displaying OrganicPlus arguments were more preferred by organic consumers than organic eggs without OrganicPlus arguments. However, consumer preferences varied between the arguments and between countries. The argument, “from the respective region” was the most preferred argument in all countries, except in Austria, where it was ranked after “highest animal welfare standards” and “from the respective country”. The argument “highest animal welfare standards” was the most preferred argument in Austria, while it was ranked after the argument “from the respective region” in Germany and Switzerland. The argument “fair prices for our organic farmers: 20 pence/20 cents/50 Rappen extra” was significantly preferred among German and Swiss consumers, although the argument was less relevant than “from the respective region” and “highest animal welfare standards”. The willingness to pay for OrganicPlus arguments varied considerably between the countries, however, it was highest for “from the respective region” in most study countries. Causal relationships were found between consumers’ attitudes and their preferences for some of the OrganicPlus arguments. Besides this, socio-demographic characteristics, purchase patterns related to organic food as well as consumers’ social commitment all had an impact on consumers’ preferences for OrganicPlus arguments

    How can we make sense of smart technologies for sustainable agriculture? - A discussion paper

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    This paper discusses the challenges of assessing the benefits and risks of new digital technologies, so-called ‘smart technologies’ for sustainable agri-food systems. It builds on the results of a literature review that was embedded in a wider study on future options for (sustainable) farming systems in Germany. Following the concepts of Actor-Network-Theory, we can conceive of smart technologies in agriculture as networks that can only be understood in their entirety when considering the relationships with all actors involved: technology developers, users (farmers, consumers and others), data analysts, legal regulators, policy makers, and potential others. Furthermore, interaction of the technology and its implementers with nature, such as plants, entire landscapes, and animals, need to be taken into consideration. As a consequence, we have to deal with a highly complex system when assessing the technology – at a time where many of the relevant questions have not been sufficiently researched yet. Building on the FAO’s SAFA guidelines, the paper outlines criteria against which smart technologies could be assessed for their potential to contribute to a sustainable development of agri-food systems. These include aspects of governance, ecology, economy and social issues. We draw some tentative conclusions on the required framework conditions for implementation of digital technology, in particular from the perspective of sustainable agriculture. These are aimed at fuelling further discussion about the potentials and risks of the technology

    Organic farming policy networks in Europe: context, actors and variation

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    Despite most having developed under the umbrella of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), national-level organic farming policy networks in Europe vary. The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons for this variation. Quantitative network analyses were carried out in five 'old' and five 'new' EU member states and in Switzerland. To examine the patterns of influence on these eleven policy networks, the cases are compared in two stages. First, we examine the factors co-varying with the size and density of the networks and then we apply a most similar system - most different outcome research design. We identify the political environment as the main factor affecting size and density of organic farming policy networks in Europe. The distribution of power between organic farming organizations and agricultural ministries is influenced by state involvement and by the resources available to organic farming policy actors

    The influence of policy networks on policy output. A comparison of organic farming policy in the Czech Republic and Poland

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    Although, at the time of accession to the EU, organic farming policies formally were equally developed in the Czech Republic and Poland, a closer investigation reveals some variation. This paper takes a policy network perspective to explore the policy differences between these two countries. Common network themes are used to link networks with policy output. It is argued that the capacity of the organic sector and its structural organization, its cohesion, and the relationship between organic interest groups and the government affect the political discourse, and, in consequence, how organic farming policy is elaborated

    The trade-off between scope and precision in sustainability assessments of food systems

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    With sustainability becoming an increasingly important issue, several tools have been developed, promising to assess sustainability of farms and farming systems. However, looking closer at the scope, the level of assessment and the precision of indicators used for impact assessment we discern considerable differences between the sustainability impact assessment tools at hand. The aim of this paper is therefore to classify and analyse six different sustainability impact assessment tools with respect to the assessment level, the scope and the precision. From our analysis we can conclude that there is a trade-off between scope and precision of these tools. Thus one-size-fits-all solutions with respect to tool selection are rarely feasible. Furthermore, as the indicator selection determines the assessment results, different and inconsistent indicators could lead to contradicting and not comparable assessment results. To overcome this shortcoming, sustainability impact assessments should disclose the methodological approach as well as the indictor sets use and aim for harmonisation of assumptions

    Organic Farming - An efficient and integrated system approach responding to pressing challenges

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    - One strict and easily understandable rule in organic farming such as the ban of synthetic fertilisers often results in a number of environmental benefits. - Organic farming support helps to minimise costs for farm support while increasing its environmental effects. - Cost effectiveness of organic farming support can result from consistency of the policy measure, the system approach of organic farming and resulting synergetic environmental effects, as well as increased market values and lower transaction costs

    Förderung [des ökologischen Landbaus]

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    Warum wird der Öko-Landbau ĂŒberhaupt gefördert? DafĂŒr gibt es im Wesentlichen vier GrĂŒnde: 1. Der Öko-Landbau hat mehr positive Umwelteffekte als der konventionelle Landbau. 2. Der Öko-Markt eröffnet Landwirten Einkommens-Chancen. 3. Die Entwicklung des lĂ€ndlichen Raums kann durch den Öko-Landbau positiv beeinflusst werden: durch ein positives Image z.B. fĂŒr den Tourismus und durch kleinere regionale Unternehmen, denen der Absatz und die Verarbeitung von Öko-Produkten eine Einkommensperspektive bietet. 4. Aufgrund der geringeren ErtrĂ€ge lassen sich durch den Öko-Landbau die Agrar-ÜberschĂŒsse abbauen

    Netzwerkanalyse: eine Methode zur Analyse des Politiksystems fĂŒr den ökologischen Landbau in Europa

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    Der Beitrag der agrarökonomischen Forschung zu der Frage, wie und mit welchen Instrumenten der ökologischen Landbau in Europa politisch unterstĂŒtzt werden kann, konzentrierte sich bisher vor allem auf zwei AnsĂ€tze: die Wirkungsanalyse von bestehenden Politikmaßnahmen und die Entwicklung neuer Politikinstrumente. ForschungsansĂ€tze aus dem Bereich der Politikwissenschaften wurden erst in jĂŒngster Zeit angewandt (beispielsweise Michelsen et al. 2001). Vor dem Hintergrund der obigen AusfĂŒhrungen bestehen aber besondere Wissensdefizite bezĂŒglich der Funktion und der Struktur des politischen Netzwerkes der im ökologischen Landbau aktiven politischen Akteure. Mit der Netzwerkanalyse bietet sich der agrarökonomischen Forschung eine Methode an, mit deren Hilfe sich die Beziehungen zwischen den privaten und öffentlichen Akteuren fĂŒr den Bereich des ökologischen Landbaus untersuchen lĂ€sst. Die Anwendung der Methode kann deshalb einen wichtigen Beitrag dazu leisten, das Netzwerk der fĂŒr den ökologischen Landbau relevanten politischen Akteure zu verstehen und dadurch Defizite und organisatorische Probleme zu identifizieren. Realisiert wird dieser Forschungsansatz innerhalb des EU-Projektes “Further Development of Organic Farming Policy in Europe, with Particular Emphasis on EU Enlargement (EU-CEEOFP)”
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