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Open AccessArticle

Conventionalization of Organic Farms in Germany: An Empirical Investigation Based on a Composite Indicator Approach

1
Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Nussallee 21, D-53115 Bonn, Germany
2
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102934
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

The term “conventionalization” of organic agriculture was created to depict the controversially discussed phenomenon that organic agriculture departs from the core organic principles on which it is based. We present an empirical, index-based approach to investigate developments of organic farming practices towards conventionalization. An index of conventionalization can be used as a monitoring tool to support policymakers to further develop agricultural regulations. We calculate composite indicators for three farm types: farms specialized on crop production, farms specialized on animal husbandry, and mixed farms. Principal component analysis serves to derive objective weights based on the correlations between indicators which then allow a linear aggregation to the composite indicator. Results show that developments towards conventionalization of the whole organic farming sector cannot be detected for German farms between 2000 and 2009. Therefore, we do not see the necessity for changes in regulation of the organic sector with regard to conventionalization. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic agriculture; conventionalization; index; composite indicator; principal component analysis organic agriculture; conventionalization; index; composite indicator; principal component analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Seidel, C.; Heckelei, T.; Lakner, S. Conventionalization of Organic Farms in Germany: An Empirical Investigation Based on a Composite Indicator Approach. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2934.

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