Ranking farms with a composite indicator of sustainability
The assessment of sustainability at farm level has been growing in popularity over the last years. This paper contributes to this line of research by building up composite indicators for different facets –social, economic, environmental and global– of farm sustainability using a methodological approach that combines Data Envelopment Analysis and Multi Criteria Decision Methods. This approach is applied to a database of 163 farms located in the Spanish Northern Plateau. Our findings show that both economic and environmental sustainability indicators are positively correlated, but that this is not the case for the social indicator. We also check the influence of a set of variables on farm sustainability using bootstrapping techniques, and showing that increasing farm size, membership on agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ medium and upper agricultural-specific technical education all exert a significant positive influence on sustainability. These results provide clues for policy-makers that intend to design sustainability-increasing structural agricultural policies.
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