When Growth Obliges: Social Responsibility of Farms in Light of the Technological Treadmill
The agricultural sector in Germany, in the EU, and other industrialised countries remains in the spotlight of controversial societal debates that testify to an advancing alienation between modern agriculture and society. Key issues include animal welfare, environmental externalities, industrialisation of agricultural production, and extinction of family farms. As higher animal welfare or environmental standards are requested by society, the respective agricultural debates take on ideological tenors. The present paper addresses of the legitimacy of and the need for supporting the agricultural sector. We ask to what extent the existing economic conditions allow the agricultural sector on the one hand to benefit from agricultural innovations and on the other hand to meet societal expectations. The analysis builds on two concepts: the agricultural treadmill theory, which assumes the agricultural sector to be under a permanent economic pressure, and the concept of corporate social responsibility, which presumes that firms have an interest to comply with societal expectations. We describe and analyse the internal mechanisms of these concepts theoretically and conceptually. We then discuss opportunities which may help to overcome the increasing alienation of agriculture and society.
|Date of creation:||2016|
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