Agroecological transitions in different geographic contexts 2: Governance and sustainability

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group, Rural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 12
Organizers: Gerald Schwarz, Tania Runge, Francesco Vanni
Chairs: Francesco Vanni

Call for Submissions

Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) to Gerald Schwarz ( by November 19, 2020. Presenters of all accepted papers will then need to send their pin to the organizer.


Despite significant effort in Europe and North America, the provision of public goods together with private goods is still not in balance and frequently not sustainable on farm or farm systems level. The key dilemma is how to produce a sufficient amount of public goods while having viable production of private goods securing economic and social sustainability at farm level, which is not too dependent on public funds. The dilemma has specific characteristics in different farming systems. Agroecological approaches are increasingly discussed as an alternative to farming based on chemical inputs as a way to address the dilemma. It is acknowledged that farming systems implementing such approaches generally require more knowledge and labour per hectare in comparison to conventional farming, but there is a need for a better understanding of the socio-economic and policy factors that hinder or enhance transitions towards agroecological farming.
Implementing agroecological transitions requires a wider systems perspective of interconnected processes and organisational levels in social-ecological systems, considering socio-economic, ecological and political settings at a territorial level beyond the farm-level (Duru et al. 2015). More research is needed to enhance the understanding of socio-economic and policy drivers and barriers for further development and implementation of agroecological approaches in European and North American farming systems to identify and facilitate transition processes towards sustainable agriculture and food systems. Three major domains must be considered for the transition to take place: adaptation of agricultural practices; conservation of biodiversity and natural resources; and development of embedded food systems (Wezel et al., 2016).

Our objective is to host a series of interlinked sessions to examine agroecological transitions and related governance issues. We aim for an interdisciplinary approach bringing together experience and expertise from different geographic contexts. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and empirical contributions that explore (but are not limited to):
- the strengths and weaknesses of different concepts and typologies that have been applied in the analysis of agroecological transitions in different geographic contexts;
- contributions theoretical frameworks such as socio-ecological systems, socio-technological systems and political ecology can provide to the discourse and analysis of agroecological farming;
- barriers and drivers of the engagement of farmers’ and other actors of the value chain in agroecological farming and food production;
- the ways in which different collective actions and efforts support or hinder agroecological transition;
- the roles that market incentives, innovative policy instruments (including result-based and cooperative approaches) and institutional arrangements play in fostering cooperation in agroecological transitions;
- the performance and sustainability of agroecological farming at farm and territorial levels.

Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) to Gerald Schwarz ( by November 19, 2020. Presenters of all accepted papers will then need to send their pin to the organizer.

Duru, M., O. Therond & M. Fares (2015) Designing agroecological transitions; A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 35, 1237-1257.
Wezel, A., Brives, H., Casagrande, M., Clément, C., Dufour, A. and Vandenbroucke, P. (2016) Agroecology territories: places for sustainable agricultural and food systems and biodiversity conservation, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 40:2, 132-144.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Anne Elise Stratton*, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Hannah Wittman, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Jennifer Blesh, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Diversification supports farm profitability and improved working conditions during agroecological transitions 15 9:35 AM
Presenter Kaitlyn Spangler*, Utah State University, Britta Schumacher, Utah State University , Brennan Bean, Utah State University, Emily Burchfield, Emory University, Assessing structural barriers and bridges to agricultural diversification in the U.S. 15 9:50 AM
Presenter Gerald Schwarz*, Thuenen Institute of Farm Economics, Jaroslav Prazan, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information, Johannes Carolus, Thuenen Institute of Farm Economics, Marta Mrnusík-Konečná, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information, Jan Landert, FiBL, Francesco Vanni, CREA, Francesco Galioto, CREA, Oriana Gave, CREA, Davide Longhitano, CREA, Andrea Povellato, CREA, Letizia Rossignolo, CREA, Alexandra Smyrniotopoulou, Agricultural University of Athens, George Vlahos, Agricultural University of Athens, David Miller, James Hutton Institute, Fabrizio Albanito, University of Aberdeen, Carol Kyle, James Hutton Institute, Katherine N. Irvine, James Hutton Institute, Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen, Rainer Weisshaidinger, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Ruth Bartel-Kratochvil, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Alexander Hollaus, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Emmanuel Guisepelli, ISARA, Philippe Fleury, ISARA, Audrey Vincent, ISARA, Andis Zilans, Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia, Kristina Veidemane, Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia, Gražvydas Jegelevičius, Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania, Elvyra Myškyté, Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania, Justas Gulbinas, Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania, Catherine Pfeifer, FiBL, Rebekka Frick, FiBL, Adrian Mueller, FiBL, Richard Bircher, FiBL, Katalin Balázs, Geonardo, Alfred Szilágyi, Geonardo, László Podmaniczky, Geonardo, Janne Helin, LUKE, David Huisman Dellago, LUKE, Jarkko Pyysiäinen, LUKE, Pasi Rikkonen, LUKE, Kajsa Resare Sahlin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Elin Röös, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uxue Iragui Yoldi, Gestion Ambiental de Navarra, Alba Linares Quero, Gestion Ambiental de Navarra, Carlos Astrain Massa, Gestion Ambiental de Navarra, Mara Caracu, WWF Romania, Mihaela Fratila, WWF Romania, Jakub Kučera, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information, Andrea Hrabalova, Bioinstitut, Daniel Monteleone, European Landowner Organisation, Alice Budniok, European Landowner Organisation, Addressing barriers of agroecological transitions in European farming systems: Lessons and experiences from multi-actor engagement in 15 case studies 15 10:05 AM
Presenter Tania Runge*, Thuenen Institute, Nicole Nefzger, FiBL Germany, Katharina Meyer, FiBL Germany, Fostering agro-ecological transition though environmental engagement along the value chain – insights from the CONSOLE project 15 10:20 AM
Presenter Daniele Vergamini*, University of Pisa (Italy), Fabio Bartolini, University of Pisa (Italy), Matteo Olivieri, University of Pisa (Italy), Tania Runge, Thünen Institut (Germany), Gerald Schwarz, Thünen Institut (Germany), The use of online-platforms for environmental collaboration of farmers at landscape level 15 10:35 AM

To access contact information login