The pursuit of agroecological principles by Flemish beef farmers: Advancing towards a body of thought for sustainable food systems

Research output: ThesisDoctoral dissertation - Doctoral dissertationpeer-review


The Flemish beef sector faces growing economic uncertainty and societal criticisms. Agroecology is regularly proposed as an alternative development pathway, yet what this exactly means in this context is largely unexplored. This doctoral research aimed at investigating the relevance of agroecology to beef farming in Flanders. By gathering and analyzing data from a diverse group of Flemish beef farmers with both qualitative and quantitative methods, this dissertation renders agroecology as a practice more concrete conceptually in this context. The analysis of these farmers accounts also served to lay bare important ambiguities and inadequacies within agroecological thought with regard to the transformative potential of these agroecological practices, farmers, and the systems they construct. Out of this dialogue between agroecology and farmers thus emerged a more general societal reflection that advances contemporary ideas and practices to transform food systems
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve - Fac. D'ingénieri biologique, agronomique et Environnementale - AGRO
  • Marchand, Fleur, Supervisor
  • Baret, Philippe V., Supervisor, External person
Award date22-Apr-2021
Publication statusPublished - 22-Apr-2021


  • B400-animal-husbandry
  • agroecological principles
  • Flemish beef farmers
  • sustainable food systems

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