Farmers’ reasons for deregistering from organic farming

Matthias Koesling, Anne-Kristin Løes, Ola Flaten, Niels Heine Kristensen, Mette Weinreich Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Every year since 2002, 150 to 200 farmers in Norway have deregistered from certified organic production. The aim of this study was to get behind these
figures and improve our understanding of the reasoning leading to decisions to opt out. Four cases of deregistered organic farmers with grain, sheep, dairy or vegetable production were selected for in-depth studies. The cases were analysed from the perspective of individual competencies and the competencies available in the networks of the selected organic farmers. Besides the conspicuous reasons to opt out of certified organic farming, such as regulations getting stricter over time and low income, personal reasons such as disappointment and need for acceptance were also important. This shows
that hard mechanisms, such as economic support and premium prices, are not sufficient to motivate farmers for sustained organic management. Support and encouragement, for example from people in the local community,
politicians and other spokespersons, would likely contribute to increase farmers’ motivation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganic Agriculture - Official journal of The International Society of Organic Agriculture Research
Volume2
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)103-116
ISSN1879-4238
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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