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Maximising sustainability of Dutch dairy farming systems for different stakeholders: A modelling approach


  • van Calker, K.J.
  • Berentsen, P.B.M.
  • Giesen, G.W.J.
  • Huirne, R.B.M.


A multi-attribute sustainability function is included into a dairy farm LP-model by using Weighted Goal Programming. The created Weighted Linear Goal Programming (WLGP)-model is used to maximise sustainability of different Dutch dairy farming systems and to analyse the impact of: (1) maximisation of individual sustainability aspects (economic, social and ecological sustainability) and (2) maximisation of overall sustainability using stakeholder preferences. Maximising the individual aspects of both dairy farming systems, i.e. conventional and organic, shows the trade-offs between different aspects of sustainability. For conventional as well as organic dairy farming maximum scores are highest for external social sustainability. The conventional dairy farm achieves a slightly higher score for overall sustainability than the organic dairy farm for all stakeholders (i.e. consumers and producers). This shows that it is possible for conventional dairy farms, similar to the conventional farm used in the analysis especially regarding the stocking density and under Dutch policy conditions, to achieve equal sustainability scores in comparison with organic dairy farms. It is concluded that the WLGP model is a suitable tool to analyse the sustainability of different dairy farming systems.

Suggested Citation

  • van Calker, K.J. & Berentsen, P.B.M. & Giesen, G.W.J. & Huirne, R.B.M., 2008. "Maximising sustainability of Dutch dairy farming systems for different stakeholders: A modelling approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 407-419, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:2:p:407-419

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Calker, K.J. & Berentsen, P.B.M. & Romero, C. & Giesen, G.W.J. & Huirne, R.B.M., 2006. "Development and application of a multi-attribute sustainability function for Dutch dairy farming systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 640-658, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacquet, Florence & Butault, Jean-Pierre & Guichard, Laurence, 2011. "An economic analysis of the possibility of reducing pesticides in French field crops," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1638-1648, July.
    2. Francesco Galioto & Chiara Paffarini & Massimo Chiorri & Biancamaria Torquati & Lucio Cecchini, 2017. "Economic, Environmental, and Animal Welfare Performance on Livestock Farms: Conceptual Model and Application to Some Case Studies in Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(9), pages 1-22, September.
    3. Parra-López, Carlos & Groot, Jeroen C.J. & Carmona-Torres, Carmen & Rossing, Walter A.H., 2008. "Integrating public demands into model-based design for multifunctional agriculture: An application to intensive Dutch dairy landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 538-551, November.
    4. Saunders, Caroline M. & Kaye-Blake, William & Campbell, Rachel, 2010. "Capital Based Sustainability Indicators as a Possible Way for Measuring Agricultural Sustainability," 84th Annual Conference, March 29-31, 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland 91720, Agricultural Economics Society.
    5. Annelin Molotsi & Bekezela Dube & Simon Oosting & Tawanda Marandure & Cletos Mapiye & Schalk Cloete & Kennedy Dzama, 2017. "Genetic Traits of Relevance to Sustainability of Smallholder Sheep Farming Systems in South Africa," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-18, July.
    6. Ahtiainen, Heini & Pouta, Eija & Liski, Eero & Assmuth, Aino & Myyrä, Sami, 2014. "The importance of agricultural objectives – summary of studies," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182792, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. van der Meulen, H.A.B. & Dolman, M.A. & Jager, J.H. & Venema, G.S., 2014. "The impact of farm size on sustainability of Dutch dairy farms," International Journal of Agricultural Management, Institute of Agricultural Management, vol. 3(2), pages 1-5, January.
    8. Reidsma, Pytrik & Janssen, Sander & Jansen, Jacques & van Ittersum, Martin K., 2018. "On the development and use of farm models for policy impact assessment in the European Union – A review," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 111-125.
    9. Gerdessen, Johanna C. & Pascucci, Stefano, 2013. "Data Envelopment Analysis of sustainability indicators of European agricultural systems at regional level," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 78-90.
    10. Philip Leat & Cesar Revoredo-Giha & Chrysa Lamprinopoulou, 2011. "Scotland’s Food and Drink Policy Discussion: Sustainability Issues in the Food Supply Chain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-27, March.

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