Shaping organic agriculture: Obstacles and opportunities for the emergence of Biocyclic-vegan farming and Community-supported agriculture in the path towards increased sustainability in large-scale organic farming in Germany

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Certified organic agriculture according to the Bio-Siegel guidelines is currently the main alternative to conventional farming in Germany. The demand in organic products in Germany is rising and the government plans to vastly expand organic production to meet the country’s needs. This mainstream organic farming system has been increasingly criticised however, with regards to long-term sustainability effects as well as animal welfare issues. Alternative approaches to sustainable agriculture are emerging on the grassroots level and display promising strategies regarding agricultural challenges associated with organic farming. This study examines Biocyclic-vegan farming and Community-supported agriculture, which are viewed as two niche innovations showing a high sustainability balance. Such niches have been observed to play a significant role in societal transformations and are said to hold high potential in contributing to a sustainability transition in the future. This research investigates the internal workings and backgrounds of the two approaches as well as developments regarding organic farming in the societal context, which reveals possible windows of opportunity for their emergence. It draws conclusions on the chances of Biocyclic-vegan farming and Community-supported agriculture to gain a more prominent role in shaping organic agriculture in a transition towards improved sustainability in the organic agricultural sector in Germany. Keywords: organic agriculture, Biocyclic-vegan farming, Community-supported agriculture, transitions, niche innovations
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen