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Farmers and pesticide-induced risks: agricultural practices, family and territorial attachments among winegrowers in the Hérault area

Abstract : This communication élaborâtes on an original ethnographic investigation carried out in 2016 and 2017 with the winegrowers of the Hérault, which is part of a wider and multi-site study conducted in the context of the trajectories project ( Direction Carole Bartholomew, LPED AMU - Support ENCOPHYTO 2016-2018). Our objective here is to rely on a rich empirical material (semi-directional interviews) to point out the links that can exist between perceptions of risks and cultural practices. We compare several profiles of winegrowers, relying on their narratives presenting the history of their holdings, to understand the choices of treatment made over several generations according to a socio-economic, legislative as well as environmental contexts. In particular, we insist on the motivations for change, when this happens when a family farm or a facility is resumed. The idea is not, however, to remain in individual decisions, but to look at the weight of family, professional structures and the sectors that explain the lasting tensions between the agricultural worlds and our societies where concerns about environmental issues increase (Roussary et al., 2013; Companion 2014). We show that, according to the technical-commercial profile, a prioritization of differentiated risks takes place in favour of predictive management of climate risk, more than environmental and health risks. However other much more transverse variables play also. The forms of attachment to the Territory (Mediterranean - dry but known for its sometimes extreme climatic episodes) and exploitation (Languedoc viticulture having a very peculiar history, marked by strong social struggles, cf. Martin 1998), the relationship to nature, the weight of health concerns, are all of the dimensions involved in the manufacture of environmental and health risks, based on multi-level actors ' interactions (Jensen, Mette 2008; Gilbert 2003). We propose to explain the different dimensions involved in the decision-making process and determine the choice of a cultural model (Nicourt, George 2013). What role does the agronomic council, the organisations and the industrial relations play in this matter? What are the structural constraints mentioned in the wine sector? What, on the contrary, motivates some winegrowers to change nevertheless for practices more respectful of the environment and their health? Which biographical elements or more personal considerations, on the trade and beyond, justify it? Which organizations (or networks of actors) promote it? And in this case, how are the other risks managed? For what display and social recognition? This communication contributes to the identification of brakes and levers for the integration of more environmentally-friendly practices.
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Contributor : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 4:54:36 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:19 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02608794, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00060449


Gaïa Bonnet, Christelle Gramaglia. Farmers and pesticide-induced risks: agricultural practices, family and territorial attachments among winegrowers in the Hérault area. Faire face aux risques en agriculture : quels enjeux, quelles perspectives ?, Feb 2018, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02608794⟩