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Article

Factors Affecting the Use of Organic Seed by Organic Farmers in Europe

1
Organic Research Centre, Trent Lodge, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JN, UK
2
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A), Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
3
Thünen-Institut of Farm Economics, Bundesallee 63, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
4
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstrasse 113, 5070 Frick, Switzerland
5
FiBL Deutschland, Kasseler Straße 1a, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8540; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208540
Received: 10 September 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Economic Performance of Farming and Food Systems)
The new European Organic Regulation 2018/848 has announced the phasing out of derogations for the use of untreated non-organic seed by 2036. However, the use of organic seed by organic farmers is currently limited. This paper aims to identify the factors affecting the use of organic seed. It is based on data collected from 749 organic farmers in 20 European countries, by conducting an online survey and using a network sampling. Results of the descriptive statistics and linear mixed models indicate that: (1) the situation of organic seed use is not consistent across geographical regions and crop sectors; (2) the use of organic seed is higher on farms selling directly to consumers than on those selling to supermarkets; (3) larger and more recently converted farms use less organic seed than established organic farms. In the second part of the paper, we analyse farmers’ attitudes towards organic seed use. The structural equation model (SEM) suggests that the highest contribution to explaining intention to use organic seed comes from social norms, i.e., farmers’ perception of societal expectations, particularly from the consumer and the organic certifier. Such expectations, if communicated in the public and political discourse, could stimulate the use of organic seed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Europe; linear mixed models; organic farmers; organic regulation; organic seed; structural equation model Europe; linear mixed models; organic farmers; organic regulation; organic seed; structural equation model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Orsini, S.; Costanzo, A.; Solfanelli, F.; Zanoli, R.; Padel, S.; Messmer, M.M.; Winter, E.; Schaefer, F. Factors Affecting the Use of Organic Seed by Organic Farmers in Europe. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8540. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208540

AMA Style

Orsini S, Costanzo A, Solfanelli F, Zanoli R, Padel S, Messmer MM, Winter E, Schaefer F. Factors Affecting the Use of Organic Seed by Organic Farmers in Europe. Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8540. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208540

Chicago/Turabian Style

Orsini, Stefano, Ambrogio Costanzo, Francesco Solfanelli, Raffaele Zanoli, Susanne Padel, Monika M. Messmer, Eva Winter, and Freya Schaefer. 2020. "Factors Affecting the Use of Organic Seed by Organic Farmers in Europe" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8540. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208540

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