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Relationships between social forms of organic horticultural production and indicators of environmental quality: a multidimensional approach in Brazil

Bellon, Stéphane; Santiago de Abreu, Lucimar and Valarini, Pedro J. (2005) Relationships between social forms of organic horticultural production and indicators of environmental quality: a multidimensional approach in Brazil. Paper at: Researching Sustainable Systems - International Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture, Adelaide, Australia, September 21-23, 2005. [Unpublished]

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Summary

Organic farming (OF) is increasingly considered as a possible alternative for designing a "new rural" in Brazil, where OF covers a wide range of production and certification systems. However, the ways small farmers adopt OF in green belts to meet an urban demand in organic vegetables have not been extensively investigated. Likewise, the impact of such practices on environmental quality components has not been sufficiently documented. Our objective was to relate forms of organisation to environmental assessment in a watershed where organic horticulture significantly contributes to landscape and water quality. We showed how small farmers were organised or how they organised themselves to meet urban demands and develop OF. We assumed that associated practices were consistent with environmental impacts, as evaluated by indicators. Based on interviews with stakeholders, we identified four forms of organisation and associated farmers' practices. We related them to environmental assessment in three compartments: landscape ecology, water quality and soil quality. Although organisations share some objectives, namely with regard to visual quality and the "right price" of products, differences appear in their scope and internal operation, their values and relationships with consumers, and their technical and environmental contents. As for technical content, input supply, planning processes and crop diversity vary among organisations, ranging from liberal to hierarchical. Our results also showed similarities and differences among various organisations in terms of environmental impact. Such results are interpreted and discussed in the light of technical and social dimensions that account for the progressive design of new systems in Brazil.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Small-scale horticultural organics, Forms of organisation, Environmental assessment, Indicators
Subjects: Food systems > Community development
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2005: 1st ISOFAR Conference > 2005: 1st ISOFAR Conference
Deposited By: ISOFAR,
ID Code:4312
Deposited On:23 Oct 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:The paper archived here is the final paper submitted by the authors to the conference Researching Sustainable Systems.
The final and edited papers are available at the following publication:
Köpke, Ulrich; Niggli, Urs; Neuhoff, Daniel; Cornish, Peter; Lockeretz, Willie und Willer, Helga, (Hrsg.) (2005) Researching Sustainable Systems. Proceedings of the First Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) Held in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA), 21 - 23 September 2005, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick, and International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o Institute of Organic Agriculture (IOL), DE-University of Bonn. http://orgprints.org/4013/
Distribution: Paper copies may be ordered from FiBL at a cost of 28 Euros plus mailing costs (see FiBL shop at http://www.fibl.org/shop); FiBL order number 1394. A PDF version of the proceedings is available free of charge for ISOFAR members via the member area of www.isofar.org.
The final papers submitted by the authors are available at http://orgprints.org/view/projects/int-conf-isofar-2005.html.

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