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Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 957; doi:10.3390/su8090957

Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark

1
Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
2
Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
3
SEGES, Agro Food Park 15, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sean Clark and Iain Gordon
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture–Beyond Organic Farming)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1098 KB, uploaded 21 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

The growth of organic agriculture in Denmark raises the interest of both producers and consumers in the sustainability performance of organic production. The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of farms in four agricultural sectors (vegetable, dairy, pig and poultry) using the sustainability assessment tool RISE 2.0. Thirty seven organic farms were assessed on 10 themes, including 51 subthemes. For one theme (water use) and 17 subthemes, a difference between sectors was found. Using the thresholds of RISE, the vegetable, dairy and pig sector performed positively for seven themes and the poultry sector for eight themes. The performance on the nutrient flows and energy and climate themes, however, was critical for all sectors. Moreover, the performance on the economic viability theme was critical for vegetable, dairy and pig farms. The development of a tool, including decisions, such as the selection of themes and indicators, reference values, weights and aggregation methods, influences the assessment results. This emphasizes the need for transparency and reflection on decisions made in sustainability assessment tools. The results of RISE present a starting point to discuss sustainability at the farm-level and contribute to an increase in awareness and learning about sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; dairy; poultry; pigs; vegetable production; RISE sustainability assessment; dairy; poultry; pigs; vegetable production; RISE
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Olde, E.M.; Oudshoorn, F.W.; Bokkers, E.A.M.; Stubsgaard, A.; Sørensen, C.A.G.; de Boer, I.J.M. Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark. Sustainability 2016, 8, 957.

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