Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Organic agriculture and the conventionalization hypothesis: A case study from West Germany


Author Info

  • Henning Best


Registered author(s):


    The recent growth in organic farming has given rise to the so-called “conventionalization hypothesis,” the idea that organic farming is becoming a slightly modified model of conventional agriculture. Using survey data collected from 973 organic farmers in three German regions during the spring of 2004, some implications of the conventionalization hypothesis are tested. Early and late adopters of organic farming are compared concerning farm structure, environmental concern, attitudes to organic farming, and membership in organic-movement organizations. The results indicate that organic farming in the study regions indeed exhibits signs of incipient conventionalization. On average, newer farms are more specialized and slightly larger than established ones and there is a growing proportion of farmers who do not share pro-environmental attitudes. Additionally, a number, albeit small, of very large, highly specialized farms have adopted organic agriculture in the last years. However, the vast majority of organic farmers, new and old ones included, still show a strong pro-environmental orientation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 95-106

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:25:y:2008:i:1:p:95-106

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Attitudes; Conventionalization; Environmental concern; Organic agriculture; Organic farming; Organic movement; Values;


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Vonne Lund & Sven Hemlin & William Lockeretz, 2002. "Organic livestock production as viewed by Swedish farmers and organic initiators," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 255-268, September.
    2. Joyce Willock & Ian J. Deary & Gareth Edwards-Jones & Gavin J. Gibson & Murray J. McGregor & Alistair Sutherland & J. Barry Dent & Oliver Morgan & Robert Grieve, 1999. "The Role of Attitudes and Objectives in Farmer Decision Making: Business and Environmentally-Oriented Behaviour in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 286-303.
    3. Karen Klonsky & Laura Tourte, 1998. "Organic Agricultural Production in the United States: Debates and Directions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1119-1124.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Lee-Ann Sutherland, 2013. "Can organic farmers be ‘good farmers’? Adding the ‘taste of necessity’ to the conventionalization debate," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 429-441, September.
    2. Lukas Zagata, 2010. "How organic farmers view their own practice: results from the Czech Republic," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 277-290, September.
    3. Läpple, Doris & Rensburg, Tom Van, 2011. "Adoption of organic farming: Are there differences between early and late adoption?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1406-1414, May.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:25:y:2008:i:1:p:95-106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.