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Saludas Cohi, Miquel, 2016. Assessing the relationship between certifications and farm sustainability : a study of short marketing channels and farmers’ perceptions in Catalonia. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



The use of voluntary policies with the form of certifications or guarantee systems together with Short Marketing Channels seem a consolidated system aiming at ‘resocialize’ and ‘relocalize’ food chain actors which upon a sustainable food system must be built. In the organic food certifications two different approaches coexist in Catalonia, the European organic third-party certification (CCPAE) and a regional Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). The aim of the thesis is to compare on-farm sustainability under the regulatory scheme CCPAE alone and CCPAE + PGS to assess the outcomes of being part of a PGS in Short Marketing Channels of fresh vegetable products in Catalonia. Farmers from five farms in the PGS and four farms in the CCPAE from the Vallès Oriental and Osona counties were interviewed for the study. The study was based in the assessment of farm sustainability using SAFA and the study of certifications using ISEAL credibility principles. The relationships between the PGS and farm sustainability was drawn using DSRP method of systems thinking. PGS farm average and its CCPAE counterfactual presented similar patterns, in exception of the Governance dimension. Some differences could be attributed to the PGS action. Nevertheless, context (microlevel and macrolevel) offered valid explanations too. Relevant differences in economic, social and environmental dimensions were not found. Focusing on the governance dimension, the actions motivated from the certification providing the most important impacts were the participatory process which was used in all actions in the certification. Furthermore, the shared vision around sustainable development and agroecology motivated a close relation between stakeholders with personal communication about marketing issues but also about sustainability issues. Last, general non-compliance situations have been identified affecting the environmental dimension. The study of the PGS and its relation to farm sustainability represents the first study of its kind in Catalonia. The study indicates that the PGS presents a great potential to move towards sustainable development in short marketing channels in the organic Catalan food system, because in addition to the substitution and redesign processes of agroecosystem management is based in consensus democracy, horizontal power relations and a holistic approach to sustainability. Furthermore, the study suggests the detachment among farms and the CCPAE certification and it is just considered as a marketing tool.

Main title:Assessing the relationship between certifications and farm sustainability
Subtitle:a study of short marketing channels and farmers’ perceptions in Catalonia
Authors:Saludas Cohi, Miquel
Supervisor:Zachrison, Mozhgan and Carlsson, Georg
Examiner:Hunter, Erik
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:sustainability, SAFA, DSRP, participatory guarantee systems, agroecology, Catalonia
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms
Deposited On:24 Jan 2017 13:29
Metadata Last Modified:25 Jan 2017 05:00

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