Organising for socio-ecological resilience: The roles of the mountain farmer cooperative Genossenschaft Gran Alpin in Graubünden, Switzerland
Risks are increasing for agriculture, particularly for marginal systems like the cereal production systems of the Swiss Alps. The article critically examines the outcomes of innovative governance responses to socio-ecological risk through an analysis of the roles of the cooperative organisation Genossenschaft Gran Alpin, according to the perceptions of its farmer members. Gran Alpin provides a secure premium price for cereal producers in Graubünden linked to the uniqueness of local organic mountain cropping systems, and all the values of local identity, landscape stewardship, biodiversity conservation and regional development that such systems represent. Gran Alpin is enabling an alternative approach for rural development to evolve around key elements, including: high quality breads, pastas, flours and beer; the mountains; the extreme production system; organic production and animal welfare; landscapes aesthetics in a core tourism region; and the cooperation of like-minded farmers. Resilience within the socio-ecological system is enhanced as the cooperative exploits evolving forms of collaboration, market niches, and private and public governance relationships to respond implicitly and explicitly to agro-ecological, economic and political risks.
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