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Pathways of sustainability in organic mixed livestock farms are based on local embeddedness: case studies in France and Belgium

MORAINE, Marc; Fuselier, Manon and MOERMAN, Marie (2020) Pathways of sustainability in organic mixed livestock farms are based on local embeddedness: case studies in France and Belgium. In: Organic Animal Husbandry systems – challenges, performance and potentials, -111.

[thumbnail of IAHA-Moraine et al..pdf] PDF - Published Version - English

Document available online at: https://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/2020-09/IAHA-Video-Conference_Livestock_OWC2020-proceedings-2020.pdf


Mixed livestock farms, through the diversity of productions and potential synergies among animals, are possibly robust and resilient models of livestock farming. Sustainability of livestock systems highly depend on the degree of self-sufficiency, and the type and intensity of ecosystem services and disservices delivered to the territory. Achieving such sustainability goals in livestock systems is a challenge, for which mixed livestock systems (MLS) can be good candidates. This article presents an analysis of territorial embeddedness of MLS through the lens of the diverse resources that MLS mobilize: natural spaces, feed sources, genetics (local breed), local knowledge, specific commercialization channels (direct sales, farmers’ shops), support from local stakeholders (environmental managers, public authorities, citizens) and local agricultural networks. Based on farm surveys in 12 farms in South of France and 16 in Belgium, we identified the strategies and practices of local embeddedness of MLS. We assessed qualitatively the environmental, economic and social performances of the surveyed systems and elaborated models of MLS and their role in their territory. We discuss the benefits of MLS for their territory, their complementarity and condition of coexistence with other types of farms, their potential development in other contexts and the possible pathways of improvement. We conclude that developing MLS can be a promising way to produce livestock in a sustainable way, but under several conditions. Notably, farmers in MLS should be supported for work management, financial capacity of farms and skill acquisition.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:mixed livestock systems, territory, diversification, sustainability
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > CORE Organic Cofund > Mix-Enable
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:727495
Deposited By: MOERMAN, Mrs Marie
ID Code:38438
Deposited On:16 Oct 2020 13:24
Last Modified:10 May 2021 10:01
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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