Understanding the development of organic agriculture in Flanders (Belgium): A discourse analytical approach

Lieve De Cock, Joost Dessein, Michaël De Krom

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Despite a fast-growing national consumer market for organic products and active governmental sup-port for organic agriculture, organic production in Flanders has shown little growth since the late 1990s.Our discourse analytical approach offers important insights into the causes of the limited organic production capacity in Flanders complementary to more common political-institutional or actor-oriented perspectives. Our analysis reveals that for decades, a competition between two mutually exclusive organic farming discourses has hindered a collaborative effort to contribute to a growth of the organic agricultural sector by conventional and organic agricultural communities, agricultural policy makers, and food market actors. Such collaboration however, proves to be necessary to stimulate a substantial growth inorganic production in a region like Flanders (Belgium). Our results suggest that facilitating the acceptance of non-competitive discourses across agricultural, political and food market stakeholders is vital to support the development of organic agriculture. By revealing the added value of discourse analysis in clarifying agro-food developments, the paper supports an adoption of multiple research approaches when studying dynamics of change in the multi-dimensional fields of agriculture and food provision.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftNJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
    Aantal pagina’s10
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - dec.-2016


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