Main research question/goal
Which discourses exist within the organic market, the policy and the agricultural sector in Flanders? How do these different discourses influence each other? What impact does this have on the development of the organic agriculture industry in Flanders?
The research aims to develop insights in the development of the organic agriculture sector in Flanders and related challenges. The role of actors and their interaction in networks and coalitions have a prominent place within the research.Research approach
We organise a qualitative data collection with semi-structured interviews, selected documents and participatory observations. We analyse these data according to techniques and insights from actor network theory, discourse analysis and social network theory. We acquire insights into discourses within the (organic) agricultural sector, the market and the agricultural policy and the influence on the development of organic agricultural production in Flanders during the past several decades.
Organic production in Flanders is growing slower than the demand for organic products in the region. In 2012, Flanders had 299 organic farmers, with approximately 0.8% of the area of agricultural land under organic production. This is far less than the European average of 5.6% (2011).
We expect that new insights in the role of actors, their interaction and the impact on policy and sector can help to support efforts and actions related to organic agriculture in Flanders in a scientific way. Such insights also help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of new actions and measures.