Various stakeholders have shown a growing interest in organic food and farming (OF&F), which has become a widespread issue at all levels of society. However, much debate still arises about the value of OF&F as a model for sustainable agriculture. Rather than questioning whether organic farming performs better or not than conventional farming, the main question addressed in this book is how and under what conditions OF&F may contribute to sustainable agricultures. Multiple forms are emerging today, among which OF&F represents a prototype, evolving in strong interaction with them and tackling the multiple challenges facing sustainable agriculture.
This book presents 25 papers divided into three main sections. The first section investigates OF&F production processes and the capacity of OF&F to benefit from ecological regulations and system functioning to achieve a greater degree of self-sufficiency. The second one proposes an overview of organic performances that provide commodities and public goods in response to societal demands. The third focuses on how to mainstream different forms of organic agriculture, including development pathways for organic farming and up-scaling within agri-food systems and territories.
In addition to a strong theoretical component, this book provides an overview of the current challenges facing OF&F. It questions the successes and limitations of organics, with particular emphasis on bottlenecks and lock-in effects at various levels, highlighting recent innovations and presenting a critical appraisal of the state of the art of existing knowledge. It contributes to our understanding of the perspectives and future challenges for research in organic farming in France and in Europe.
Each area of OF&F is examined, with papers from leading experts who have been involved in organic research projects and partnerships for many years and who provide complementary insights into the key issues facing organic agriculture and research worldwide.