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Technologies in organic farming: consumers' values and acceptance

Lassen, Jesper (2015) Technologies in organic farming: consumers' values and acceptance. In: Know your food! – Food Ethics and Innovation, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Eursage Congress Proceedings. [Unpublished]

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In organic farming a dilemma is posed by the heavy reliance on nutrients from conventional livestock farming. For Danish organic plant producers the influx of conventional nutrients accounts for up to 70% of their nutrients. Facing this problem, Danish organic farmers' organizations have decided to phase out their use of conventional manure before 2021. This, however, raises a number of questions about consumers’ acceptance of the alternative technologies that have been proposed to close the nutrient gap. Drawing on qualitative interviews with Danish organic consumers, this paper first discusses what, from a consumers perspective, characterizes the technologies consumers associate with organic production. This part of the analysis shows that by and large consumers regard organic technologies as the opposite of conventional farming. Second, consumers’ perceptions of solutions suggested to close the nutrient gap by recycling sewage sludge, and in particular the criteria applied when these technologies are assessed, are analysed. This part of the analysis shows how organic consumers base their assessment of alternative strategies and technologies primarily on concerns about environmental risks (pollution) and consequences for human health. Broader ideas about ecosystems and the recycling of nutrients between the agricultural sector and the urban population are notably absent. On the basis of these findings the paper concludes by discussing the relationship between the consumers’ values that guide what is perceived as an acceptable organic technology and the ideological principles behind organic production systems as they are formulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > RoCo
Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen
Deposited By: Lassen, Dr Jesper
ID Code:28538
Deposited On:08 Apr 2015 10:22
Last Modified:23 Mar 2022 14:13
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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