Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
1) Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales, Penglais,Aberystwyth, SY23 1DD, GB. 2) South Jutland University Centre, Department of cooperative andagricultural research, Niels Bohr Vej 9, DK 6700 Esbjerg.
In this workshop we want to identify factors that have influenced the very different development of organic farming in various countries. This will be achieved by comparing the situation in different countries in terms of conversion aid schemes, advisory services, market development and policy. We would like to invite members of organic farming bodies, extension workers, researchers and all other people interested in understanding and supporting the development of organic farming to this hopefully interesting discussion.
The development of the organic farming sector (number of farms, area under organic management) varies considerably in different countries. Austria, Denmark and Italy are among those with high growth rates, whereas in France and the UK the number of organic farms appeared to contract in recent years, although the situation is now changing. Several factors why that is so have been suggested: relative profitability of organic farming systems compared to conventional; market development and consumer demand; conversion aid programmes and extension provision. It is likely that neither factor alone can explain the very different conversion rates. How organic farming complies with the farming tradition, public opinion, and the position of farming organisation are also likely to be important.
During the workshop all major factors that have already been identified will be introduced and outstanding development in some countries will be presented by short papers. In the following structured discussion the participants from hopefully many different countries are invited to contribute their experience. By comparing the situation in many different countries we hope to be able to identify further factors and get some understanding of their importance. This will be useful to target support for the organic sector in future. Special attention will be given to those areas that can be influenced by the organic movement itself.