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Conversion to organic farming increases dairy farmers’ satisfaction independently of the strategies implemented

Abstract : AbstractFarmers in Europe are increasingly converting to organic farming. For farmers, the conversion is an uncertain period that requires multiple changes to comply with organic regulations while not obtaining the organic price for products. Previous research findings highlight the multiple risks of converting to organic farming, but they tend to neglect farmers’ satisfaction during the conversion. Our objective was to investigate whether and how farmers could improve their satisfaction during the conversion to organic. We surveyed a sample of 19 dairy farms in Aveyron, France, from 2016 (their last year as conventional) to 2018. We (i) characterised the evolution of dairy farmers’ satisfaction and the conversion strategies implemented from the last year of conventional farming up to the end of the conversion to organic, and (ii) identified which conversion strategies improved farmers’ satisfaction the most. Satisfaction was assessed by farmers regarding economic, agronomic, livestock-related, and social aspects as well as work conditions. We ran principal component analysis (PCA), hierarchical clustering on principal components (HCPC), and partial least squares (PLS) regression to analyse the data. Our results revealed that all farmers were satisfied after conversion to organic. All observed conversion strategies were oriented towards pasture-based grazing systems and a reduction in land use and herd management intensities. It was not possible to relate specific conversion strategies to specific changes in patterns of satisfaction. This study was the first trying to relate the evolution of farmers’ satisfaction to changes in farming practices during the conversion to organic. In showing the strong increase in farmers’ satisfaction during the conversion to organic, our results strongly contrast with previous studies that highlighted the multiple risks of converting to organic farming. When supporting farmers considering a conversion, local advisers may consider farmers’ objectives and their potential satisfaction regarding their achievements beyond the risks of not obtaining the organic price for products immediately.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02543232
Contributor : Christelle Raynaud <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 5:07:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 11, 2021 - 3:48:19 PM

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Maëlys Bouttes, Alexandre Bancarel, Stéphane Doumayzel, Sandrine Viguié, Magali San Cristobal, et al.. Conversion to organic farming increases dairy farmers’ satisfaction independently of the strategies implemented. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Springer Verlag/EDP Sciences/INRA, 2020, 40 (2), pp.12. ⟨10.1007/s13593-020-00616-5⟩. ⟨hal-02543232⟩

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