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Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark

Author

Listed:
  • Evelien M. De Olde

    () (Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
    Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Frank W. Oudshoorn

    () (Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
    SEGES, Agro Food Park 15, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark)

  • Eddie A. M. Bokkers

    () (Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Anke Stubsgaard

    () (SEGES, Agro Food Park 15, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark)

  • Claus A. G. Sørensen

    () (Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark)

  • Imke J. M. De Boer

    () (Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands)

Abstract

The growth of organic agriculture in Denmark raises the interest of both producers and consumers in the sustainability performance of organic production. The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of farms in four agricultural sectors (vegetable, dairy, pig and poultry) using the sustainability assessment tool RISE 2.0. Thirty seven organic farms were assessed on 10 themes, including 51 subthemes. For one theme (water use) and 17 subthemes, a difference between sectors was found. Using the thresholds of RISE, the vegetable, dairy and pig sector performed positively for seven themes and the poultry sector for eight themes. The performance on the nutrient flows and energy and climate themes, however, was critical for all sectors. Moreover, the performance on the economic viability theme was critical for vegetable, dairy and pig farms. The development of a tool, including decisions, such as the selection of themes and indicators, reference values, weights and aggregation methods, influences the assessment results. This emphasizes the need for transparency and reflection on decisions made in sustainability assessment tools. The results of RISE present a starting point to discuss sustainability at the farm-level and contribute to an increase in awareness and learning about sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelien M. De Olde & Frank W. Oudshoorn & Eddie A. M. Bokkers & Anke Stubsgaard & Claus A. G. Sørensen & Imke J. M. De Boer, 2016. "Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-20, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:9:p:957-:d:78576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:274:d:65883 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
    3. Wier, Mette & O'Doherty Jensen, Katherine & Andersen, Laura Mørch & Millock, Katrin, 2008. "The character of demand in mature organic food markets: Great Britain and Denmark compared," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 406-421, October.
    4. Tom Waas & Jean Hugé & Thomas Block & Tarah Wright & Francisco Benitez-Capistros & Aviel Verbruggen, 2014. "Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Tools in a Decision-Making Strategy for Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(9), pages 1-23, August.
    5. Tom Waas & Jean Huge & Thomas BLOCK & Tarah Wright & Francisco Javier Benitez Capistros & Aviel Verbruggen, 2014. "Sustainability assessment and indicators: Tools in a decision-making strategy for sustainable development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/189410, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Binder, C.R. & Schmid, A. & Steinberger, J.K., 2012. "Sustainability solution space of the Swiss milk value added chain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 210-220.
    7. Christian Schader & Lukas Baumgart & Jan Landert & Adrian Muller & Brian Ssebunya & Johan Blockeel & Rainer Weisshaidinger & Richard Petrasek & Dóra Mészáros & Susanne Padel & Catherine Gerrard & Laur, 2016. "Using the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART) for the Systematic Analysis of Trade-Offs and Synergies between Sustainability Dimensions and Themes at Farm Level," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-20, March.
    8. Pollesch, N. & Dale, V.H., 2015. "Applications of aggregation theory to sustainability assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 117-127.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Olde, Evelien M. & Bokkers, Eddie A.M. & de Boer, Imke J.M., 2017. "The Choice of the Sustainability Assessment Tool Matters: Differences in Thematic Scope and Assessment Results," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 77-85.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2942-:d:164544 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability assessment; dairy; poultry; pigs; vegetable production; RISE;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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