Ethical account to stimulate value reflections on livestock farms S27
Danish Institute of Animal ScienceP.O. Box 39DK-8830 Tjele
|While Danish organic farming rules have evolved
from grass roots movements and express the compromise between ideals of sustainable
agriculture and farmers economic concern, recently rules have been formulated on a
national as well as international level in order to standardize the regulation of organic
farming. Moreover, a high number of recently converted farmers have not participated much
in the value debate within the organic farming movement. This raises the questions : Do
the excisting rules secure that organic farming is more sustainable than conventional
farming today and in the next century? And, how can we stimulate a continous discussion of
the current results of organic farming in relation to the ideals on as well farm level as
higher levels? A farm account system that includes other values than production economics
is proposed to stimulate reflection among farmers about their farm's effect on
environment, resource use and the wellbeing of the farm family and the animals. Indicators
include among others:
Nitrogen and phosphorus surplus (kg/ha) and efficiency.
Energy use efficiency (MJ fossil energy/kg milk).
Indicators of landscape ecological impact (% weed in grain crops, status of small
This »ethical« account is developed in a multidisciplinary project together with
commercial farmers. The ethical acconting will consist of several components with the
overall aim of facilitating a learning process for the farm family:
It is suggested that the concept could stimulate discussion within the organic movement to secure continous development of goals and methods for organic farming. Figures from the first account cycles on dairy farms will be presented.