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Journal Articles Journal of Environmental Management Year : 2024

Achieving healthy and profitable production through collective action? The case of vegetable farmers in the French West Indies

Abstract

Given the multiple challenges that agriculture faces, collective action is a potential pathway towards more sustainable agriculture. This article aims to contribute to the literature by assessing the extent to which collective action can meet the objective of both healthy and profitable production in the French West Indies. To do so, we call on the theory of collective action and emphasise the role of formal and informal collectives in achieving the objectives of improving income and implementing agroecological practices. We use original data collected in 2022 from 409 vegetable farmers in Martinique and Guadeloupe. We consider the interdependence between farmers’ economic and environmental objectives through a simultaneous equations model. We characterise the diversity of collectives according to their degree of formalisation and to the adequacy between the objectives pursued by these collectives and the individual objectives of their members. Our results show that the achievement of an individual objective is fostered by its adequacy with the objective set by the collective and also, to a certain extent, by the degree of formalisation of this collective. It appears that achieving individual objectives is based on sharing common objectives as well as having collective rules. More particularly, we find that producer organisations – collectives considered to be the most formal – best meet the objectives of improving income and adopting agroecological practices. However, in the French West Indies, the instability of such collectives and the organisational deficiencies of the sector call into question their real long-term impact. These findings contribute to a better understanding of farmers’ decision-making and provide relevant policy implications for supporting agricultural collectives in managing and federating producers towards achieving a more healthy and profitable production.
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Dates and versions

hal-04639461 , version 1 (09-07-2024)

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Camille Luis, Magali Aubert, Laurent Parrot. Achieving healthy and profitable production through collective action? The case of vegetable farmers in the French West Indies. Journal of Environmental Management, 2024, 366, pp.121690. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.121690⟩. ⟨hal-04639461⟩
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