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Sustainability and organic farming in the light of conventions theory: The example of the Hungarian organic sector
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The globalization and industrialization of food sector created a need for food traceability. Alternative food networks, such as organic farming, can serve this purpose by offering an alternative to the conventional food and by regaining the trust between the producer and the consumer.Organic agriculture is assumed to be more sustainable than the industrial one. However, there is a misconception of the concepts “sustainable agriculture” and “organic farming”. In Hungary the contradiction of high export of organic raw materials and high import of processed organic food from the main export countries was experienced in the 1990s. But lately the import volume decreased, and the high export remained combined with low domestic organic consumption.It is important to see how the actors involved in the organic sector perceive the sustainability of the Hungarian organic sector. The research question is: How do different actors perceive sustainability in the Hungarian organic food sector in the light of conventions theory? In order to find the answer 10 actors with different profiles were interviewed. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out.Seven different conventions based on Thévenot et al. (2000) served as the analytical tool. The respondents showed low understanding of such concepts as sustainability and sustainable agriculture, as well as their contribution to sustainable development.A main conclusion of the study is that the actors closer to the field, i.e. farmers and food processing companies, show more consideration towards the environment, rural development and sustainability. Green, domestic and civic conventions are for them as important as market and industrial conventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
Organic farming, sustainability, conventions theory, Hungary
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44239OAI: diva2:360601
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2010-11-03 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2010-11-03Bibliographically approved

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