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Beef Cattle Farms’ Conversion to the Organic System. Recommendations for Success in the Face of Future Changes in a Global Context

Escribano, A.J. (2016) Beef Cattle Farms’ Conversion to the Organic System. Recommendations for Success in the Face of Future Changes in a Global Context. Sustainability, 8 (6), p. 572.

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Document available online at: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/6/572/html


Abstract: Dehesa is a remarkable agroforestry system, which needs the implementation of sustainable production systems in order to reduce its deterioration. Moreover, its livestock farms need to adapt to a new global market context. As a response, the organic livestock sector has expanded not only globally but also in the region in search for increased overall sustainability. However, conversions to the organic system have been commonly carried out without analyzing farms’ feasibility to do so. This analysis is necessary before implementing any new production system in order to reduce both the diversity of externalities that the variety of contexts leads to and the vulnerability of the Dehesa ecosystem to small management changes. Within this context and in the face of this gap in knowledge, the present paper analyzes the ease of such conversions and the farms’ chances of success after conversion in the face of global changes (market and politics). Different aspects (“areas of action”) were studied and integrated within the Global Conversion Index (GCI), and the legal requirement for European organic farming, organic principles, future challenges for ruminants’ production systems, as well as the lines of action for the post-2013 CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and their impacts on the beef cattle sector were taken into account. Results revealed that farms must introduce significant changes before initiating the conversion process, since they had very low scores on the GCI (42.74%), especially with regard to health and agro-ecosystem management (principle of Ecology). Regarding rearing and animal welfare (principle of justice/fairness), farms were close to the organic system. From the social point of view, active participation in manufacturing and marketing of products should be increased.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Mediterranean, Drylands, Agroecology
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Farming Systems > Buildings and machinery
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Spain > University of Extremadura
ISSN:EISSN 2071-1050
Deposited By: Escribano, Dr. Alfredo J
ID Code:30289
Deposited On:26 Sep 2016 08:21
Last Modified:26 Sep 2016 08:21
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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