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Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 315–327 | Cite as

Establishing ethical organic poultry production: a question of successful cooperation management?

  • Martina SchäferEmail author
Symposium/Special Issue
  • 296 Downloads

Abstract

In reaction to growing critics regarding ecological and ethical aspects of intensive animal husbandry, different initiatives of ethical poultry production try to establish alternative food supply chains on the market. To be able to stabilise these niche innovations parallel to the mainstream regime, new forms of cooperation along the value added chain and with the consumers play an important role. Based on a case study of integrated egg and meat production from a dual-purpose breed by small multifunctional farms in Northeast of Germany, the paper exemplifies the challenges for the different partners of the food supply chain and cooperation management. Empirical data were obtained via nine qualitative interviews with actors along the value chain and via participatory observation of workshops and meetings. The research was embedded in a transdisciplinary project, where different measures to meet the existing challenges were taken and evaluated. Analysing the existing cooperation reveals possibilities for improving cooperation management by e.g. clarifying the goals of the cooperation, including the points of sale as part of the food supply chain and communication of the ethical and sustainability qualities of the product to the consumers. However, the analysis also shows the limits of cooperation in an environment dominated by the paradigm of specialisation, economies of scale and cost reduction, which is also characteristic for parts of the organic sector. The paper discusses if the challenges of establishing this radical niche innovation can be met without a fundamental change of framework conditions as e.g. regulation on animal husbandry.

Keywords

Ethical poultry production Cooperation management Alternative food supply chains Dual-purpose breeds Specialisation Intensification Niche innovations 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Research was carried out within the project ginkoo, which is financed from 2015 to 2019 by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). More information: http://www.ginkoo-projekt.de. The article is based on experiences made within the whole transdisciplinary research project and exchange especially with Benjamin Nölting, Ute Günster and the coordinator of the group, Bettina König.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Technology and SocietyTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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