Häring, A. M.; Dabbert, S.; Offermann, F. and Nieberg, H. (2001) Benefits of Organic Farming for Society. In: Proceedings of the European Conference – Organic Food and Farming, The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Recent food scares have lead to a boom in demand for organic products and an increasing awareness of policy makers of the potential benefits of organic farming. However, policies specifically targeting organic farming support do not remain beyond dispute and a sound justification of these is in great demand. The potential specific contribution of organic farming to the achievement of some of the key objectives of the European Common Agricultural Policy, e.g. competitiveness of agriculture, farming income, food supply, food quality and minimisation of negative environmental impacts of agricultural production are discussed.
It is argued that organic farming can contribute to the objectives of the CAP, however, addressing the various objectives to different degrees. The environmental effects of organic farming seem to be largely positive in comparison to conventional farming on a per hectare basis in all categories, be it biodiversity, input-output balances or soil and water resources, although other farming systems might perform better with respect to single indicators or when results are related to the amount of produced output. The quality of organically produced food seems to be higher than that of conventionally produced food for several indicators, for example, the risk of food contamination with pesticides and or nitrate tends to be lower. Income levels from organic farming are on average comparable to income generated on conventional farms, and organic farming is clearly a profitable alternative for quite a few farms in Europe. With respect to rural development organic farming is expected to have little direct effects, e.g. on unemployment rates, although small scale marketing and processing initiatives may contribute directly to rural employment. However, indirect effects such as increased employment in tourism due to a positive “ecological” image of a region can be of importance.
Conclusively, organic farming can contribute to several of the declared policy objectives of the CAP. However, the information available to date does not permit a clear conclusion if organic farming achieves desirable effects at lower costs than other farming systems. Nevertheless, the positive effects on a broad range of objectives clearly justifies the support of organic farming and is therefore recommended.
|EPrint Type:||Conference paper, poster, etc.|
|Type of presentation:||Paper|
|Keywords:||EU, Agrarpolitik, policy, developement, CAP, enviromental impact, conventional|
|Subjects:|| Food systems > Policy environments and social economy|
"Organics" in general
|Research affiliation:||Germany > University of Hohenheim > Production Theory and Resource Economics|
|Deposited By:||Bichler, Dipl.-Ing.sc.agr. Barbara|
|Deposited On:||19 Feb 2004|
|Last Modified:||12 Apr 2010 07:28|
|Additional Publishing Information:||ISBN: 87-90673-32-8|
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