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Are standards and regulations of organic farming moving away from small farmers' knowledge?

Vogl, Christian R.; Kilcher, Lukas and Schmidt, Hanspeter (2005) Are standards and regulations of organic farming moving away from small farmers' knowledge? Journal for Sustainable Agriculture (26 (1)), pp. 5-26.

[thumbnail of J064v26n01_03.pdf] PDF - German/Deutsch


Organic farming is a promising agricultural method with positive effects on the human ecological and social environment. Governments have taken over a major role in defining organic farming by creating legal standards. Many countries all over the world have established a certification and accreditation system in order to protect the justified expectations of consumers with regard to processing and controlling the product quality of organic goods and to protecting producers from fraudulent trade practices. As they are relevant to international trade, these standards do not only influence the organic farming movement on the national level but also have a converse impact across national borders. Organic farming was established in a bottom-up process as farmers aimed to design sustainable ways of using natural resources. Farmers’ traditional knowledge and their awareness of ecological, as well as, of social affairs was the main base for the development of organic farming. Since public interest in organic farming has grown rapidly, the ownership on the process of defining organic farming is no longer in the hands of farmers and the original principles and aims of themovement seem to be threatened by a bureaucratic view of “recipe”-organic farming. However, unsolved problems also exist between the necessities of global harmonization and the local adaptability of the standards on organic farming. This paper structures the current discussion and gives future prospects for further development.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic farming, standards, certification, accreditation, traditional ecological knowledge, local knowledge, innovation, adaptation, harmonization, globalization
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Food systems > Community development > Networks and ownership
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Research affiliation:Austria > Univ. BOKU Wien > Sustainable Agr. Systems - IfÖL
Related Links:http://www.haworthpress.com/store/product.asp?sku=J064
Deposited By: Vogl, Prof. Dr. Christian Reinhard
ID Code:5448
Deposited On:05 Sep 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Nähere Informationen zur Zeitschrift siehe unter "Links"

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