Methods and Procedures for Building Sustainable Farming Systems

Application in the European Context

  • Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa
  • Emiliana L. D. G. Soares da Silva

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Emiliana Silva, Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa
    Pages 1-5
  3. European context for sustainability assessment of farming systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Emiliana Silva, Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa
      Pages 9-19
    3. Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa, Emiliana Silva
      Pages 21-29
  4. Multiple aspects to develop methodologies for sustainability assessment of farming systems

  5. Application of methodologies for sustainability assessment of farming systems in real contexts

  6. Sustainability assessment in organic and multifunctional systems

  7. Decision support methods for sustainable farming systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
    2. Alvaro Rocca, Francesco Danuso, Franco Rosa, Elena Bulfoni
      Pages 191-205
    3. Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa, Filipa Manso, Luís Tibério, Carlos Fonseca
      Pages 207-217
  8. Sustainability assessment in non-European farming systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-237
    2. Diane Parent, Valérie Bélanger, Anne Vanasse, Guy Allard, Doris Pellerin
      Pages 239-250
    3. Elias Ghadban, Salma Talhouk, Mabelle Chedid, Shady K. Hamadeh
      Pages 251-258
  9. Final considerations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271

About this book


This urgent publication surveys the latest research and methodologies combining efficiency in agricultural food production with sustainability in the same systems. Growing pressures on food production seem contrapuntal to the ever-stronger imperatives of sustainability. How can agriculture balance successes in both productivity and ecology? Sustainability is a dynamic concept, seeking to achieve a balance—in space and time—of environmental, economic and social factors. Thus, farming systems are faced with contradictory demands for success: economic performance and social equity have to be maximized, while the environment and its natural resources need to be protected.


Showing how the method of sustainability assessment plays a key role in choosing the best agricultural productive mode, this book guides the reader through the process of selecting, from among the various approaches for building farming systems, the method of decision-making that will result in the most appropriate outcome, given the context. Case studies hail from polities as diverse as Portugal and Canada, Argentina and Lebanon. The work thus offers a valuable critical survey of the assessment methods that account for sustainability and economics, and which have developed considerably in the last two decades. The heterogeneous approaches covered here make this volume appropriate for consultation in a wide variety of social, political and geographical contexts.


Agriculture environment Decision support methods Sustainability assessment methodologies Sustainability farming assessment Sustainable farming systems

Editors and affiliations

  • Ana Alexandra Marta-Costa
    • 1
  • Emiliana L. D. G. Soares da Silva
    • 2
  1. 1., Economy, Sociology and ManagementUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DoVila RealPortugal
  2. 2., Agricultural Sciences DepartmentUniversity of AzoresAngra do HeroísmoPortugal

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