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Crop Management Abstract - Symposium Proceedings: Organic Agriculture: Innovations In Organic Marketing, Technology, and Research

Measuring and Communicating the Environmental Benefits of Organic Food Production


This article in CM

  1. Vol. 5 No. 1
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Accepted: May 15, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): dabbert@uni-hohenheim.de
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  1. Stephan Dabbert *a
  1. a Department of Farm Economics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany 70593


Perceived environmental advantages are a key motivation for the interest in organic farming. The comparison between the environmental effects of organic and conventional farming poses a number of methodological challenges. Empirical evidence shows that organic farming is ranked at least equal, and in a number of instances better, than conventional farming for key environmental indicators. In communicating these advantages to consumers, the concept of credence characteristics is important; attempts to sell organic products to consumers on their non-use values alone are likely to fail. The positive environmental effects of organic farming can, under certain circumstances, justify policy intervention. Organic farming as an agro-environmental policy instrument is particularly useful where the goal is overall improvement of a large number of environmental indicators; in such instances its comparatively lower transaction cost is a distinct advantage. However, organic farming cannot address all agro-environmental problems.

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