|Module Title||BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE|
|Co-ordinator||Mr Nicolas Lampkin|
|Pre-Requisite||RS10110 , RS10610 and either, RS20210 or, RS20310|
|Essay||3,000 word essay and oral presentation ( to be submitted by beginning of week 9)||40%|
Aims of the module
1. To analyse the business organisation and performance of ecological agriculture, in the context of the regulatory and policy environment within which it operates as well as broader sustainability and ethical considerations.
2. To enable students to understand farmers' decision making, the determining factors and the strategies employed., to identify the strengths and weaknesses of farming systems, and to suggest measures to resolve problems; and to introduce relevant management skills to students.
By the end of this module, students should be able to:
Explain how a differentiated market for organically produced food relates to the wider objectives of ecological agriculture.
Identify the regulations relating to trade in organic products within the European Union and major trading partners and describe the implementation of these regulations in various countries.
Understand the factors influencing consumer demand for organically produced food.
Outline the marketing structures for organically produced food in specific regions, and evaluate these in the context of trade ethics and resource requirements for production, processing, packaging and distribution.
Identify the factors influencing the financial and physical productivity of organic crop and livestock enterprises, and determine their combined impact on the performance of whole farm systems.
List the relevant production, marketing and agri-environmental support schemes and determine their influence on the financial performance of whole farm systems.
Distinguish the financial performance of established organic farms from those in conversion and determine costs of conversion for different farm types.
Assess the role of alternative business structures in meeting the wider objectives of organic agriculture.
Understand the relevance of systems, management and decision-making theory to optimising the performance of farming systems in line with farmer/farm household/societal objectives
Apply rapid appraisal, budgeting, simulation and optimisation techniques to analyse and improve farm system performance.
Understand the role of different types of knowledge and information and of different extension agents in the diffusion of information
Identify the policy, regulatory, market, information and other factors influencing the adoption of organic agriculture and assess prospects for widespread adoption of organic farming.
Syllabus / Curriculum design
This module examines the physical and financial performance and the environmental/social impact of farming systems which rely primarily on management of the ecology of the farm to achieve agricultural production objectives, while reducing the use of agro-chemical inputs and non-renewable resources for environmental and sustainability reasons. Topics covered include: Organic farming as business; Role of the market; Certification, regulations, and development in Europe; Consumer demand characteristics; Marketing channels for crop and livestock products; Trade ethics -fair trade, food miles and globalisation; Crop, livestock and whole farm system performance; Mainstream CAP and agri-environmental policy schemes; Conversion - what does it entail?; Information requirements (trial v. planning); Financial aspects of conversion; Social/institutional factors influencing adoption; Prospects for/implications of widespread adoption; Systems theory/analysis; Management and decision-making theory; Problem identification; Farmer/farm-family goals and values, goal conflicts; Innovation by farmers; Interactions with advisers and researchers; Sources of information specific to ecological agriculture; Sources of knowledge- inherited, transferred, intuitive; Financial appraisal; Assessing qualitative objectives (environmental impact, animal welfare, social goals); Farm diagnostic assessment method; Planning techniques - budgeting, optimisation, simulation, decision support systems; Multi-period/conversion planning.
Baillieux P and Scharpe A. (1994) Organic farming. Green Europe 2/94. European Commission, Brussels.
Groh T and McFadden S. (1990) Farms of tomorrow: Community supported farms, Farm supported communities. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc., Kimberton, Pennysylvania
(1997) Basic Standards of Organic Agriculture. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Tholey-Theley, Germany
Jacobsen B H et al (eds). (1994) Farmers Decision Making - a descriptive approach. Proceedings from the 38th EAAE seminar, Institute of Agricultural Economics and The Royal Vetinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Lampkin N H and Padel S (eds.). (1994) The Economics of Organic Farming- an International Perspective. CAB International, Wallingford
(1997) Organic and ethical food. Mintel; London
(1997) UKROFS standards for organic food production. UK Register of Organic Food Standards, MAFF, London
Lampkin N H and Measures M (eds). (1995) Organic Farm Management Handbook. University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Maxted-Frost T. (1997) The Future Agenda for Organic Trade. Proceedings of the 5th International IFOAM Conference on Trade in Organic Products, Oxford, September, 1997.. Soil Association, Bristol
EC (1991) Council Regulation(EEC) No.2092/91 of 24 June 1991. Organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs.. Official Journal of the European Communities 91 (L198), 1-15 and subsequent amendments.
Lampkin N H. (1996) Impact of EC Regulation 2078/92 on the development of organic farming in the European Union.. Working Paper 7, Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Tregear A, McGregor M and Dent J B. (1993) A report on the demand for organically grown produce in Great Britain. Sustainable Farming Systems Initiative, University of Edinburgh
Vartdal B and Loes A-K. (1994) Farmers' approaches to organic farming; motivations, barriers and different strategies. In Converting to organic agriculture Proceedings of NJF - seminar no. 237. Appendix to NJF- Utredning/ Rapport Nr.93