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Winegrowers’ motives and barriers to convert to organic farming in Pfalz and Rheinhessen, Germany
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Agricultural practices play a crucial role when discussing sustainable development in the world. Organic farming is a possibility to increase the overall sustainability, because it balances the environmental, economic, social and productive spheres better than conventional farming. Thus, Germany strives to have 20 % of the agricultural land organically certified. However, with current organic farmland at 6.2 %, the goal is far from being reached and conversion rates are slowing down, whereas organic viticulture indicates more successful conversion rates. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate which motives and barriers wine farmers in Pfalz and Rheinhessen, Germany, have to convert to organic farming. Furthermore, it is explored which role one of the world’s biggest retailers, Systembolaget, plays in the decision process to produce organically or not. The study was carried out reviewing literature and through a questionnaire and interviews with, in both cases, eight farmers from the regions of which four were certified organic and four were conventional farmers. Moreover, the five capitals framework, which attempts to assess livelihood strategies, was applied to analyze findings. Results indicate that most motives for organic farming identified in the literature could be placed in the financial, social and human capital, whereas the questionnaire and interviews found as many categories in the natural capital. Barriers to convert to organic farming were most frequent in the natural and physical capital both in the literature and the empirics. However, the findings suggest that a focus lies on the financial and human capital, in which the economic situation and the ideology of a farmer played a crucial role in the decision process. Systembolaget plays a supporting role in the conversion to organic farming, but it is not the driving factor in a conversion process. The findings indicate that policy could consider revising financial support schemes, address ideological barriers against organic farming and decide on the use of copper. Moreover, the organic label as marketing tool could be stressed and the influence of the private sector could be acknowledged in order to reach the organic farmland goal of Germany.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 61 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 285
Keyword [en]
Viticulture, five capitals framework, Systembolaget, sustainable development, Rhineland-Palatinate
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295037OAI: diva2:932623
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2016-05-30, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 22:21 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-02 Created: 2016-06-01 Last updated: 2016-06-02Bibliographically approved

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