“Loyals” and “Optimizers”: Shedding Light on the Decision for or Against Organic Agriculture Among Swiss Farmers [Book Review]

The choice between organic and conventional agriculture for farmers is modeled as an ethical decision. Farmers are either loyal to one of the systems or they optimize between systems. This model is empirically validated through a survey among Swiss farmers. A cluster analysis separates farmers into loyal organic, loyal conventional, and optimizing farmers. However, the three resulting clusters bore some, but not all the necessary characteristics of optimizers and loyals. A probit analysis shows that loyal farmers have larger farms than optimizers. Loyal organic farmers receive less direct payments than optimizers, which confirms the utility-maximizing pattern of the latter group.
Keywords Organic farming  Conversion  Utilitarianism  Switzerland  Swiss farming
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9309-3
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