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Society Oriented Farming

Posted on | February 8, 2015 | Comments Off

WG18 – Society Oriented Farming – working on the balance between market and societal demands

Entrepreneurship in agriculture is changing: Not only do farmers have to be technically capable in their production processes but they also have to be aware of the global markets demands, the (local) societal demands and legislation and environmental changes in an increasingly urbanizing world. In order to achieve business sustainability farmers need to be aware of these external pressures and adapt and develop innovative production strategies so that that all kind of stakeholders: consumer organizations, environmental groups, neighbours, regional and national governments, retail etc. are satisfied with the way these farmers produce. In the Netherlands for example, some regional governments already have legislation restricting farms in their development when they do not interact with society. Incorporating the interaction with society can be done in various ways depending the main farm strategy. This interaction of farms with society we call Society Oriented Farming which contains a wide range of different strategies and farming systems ranging from locally oriented farming systems (like civic agriculture) and more globally oriented agriculture.

Three main strategies can be distinguished in how farmers develop their farms (Fig. 1). In all strategies they have to anticipate on changes in the urbanizing world around their farm although the intensity and way of dealing with society differs between the strategies.

fig1wg18

Fig. 1: Different farming strategies in relation to the positioning of the farm in the field between global market demands, climate change and societal demands.

Goals of this working group is to present, discuss and reflect on the concept of society oriented farming and on cases of different farm strategies adapting the concept of society oriented farming. Contributions addressing the following questions are welcome:

• What are the drivers behind society oriented farming?
• How do farmers with different farm strategies co-develop their farm with society?
• How can farmers with different strategies learn from each other
• How can social innovation be stimulated in the agro-food system?

Convenors:

Daniël de Jong (MsC), Wageningen UR, The Netherlands, daniel.dejong@wur.nl
Andries Visser (PhD), Wageningen UR, The Netherlands, andries.visser@wur.nl
Jana Poláková, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic, jpolakova@af.czu.cz

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