Comparison of ecological and conventional agriculture as an example of a comparative sustainability assessment of agricultural systems
Financing: The Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB)
Project management (for the subproject): Prof. Dr. Michael Opielka
Project processing: Sophie Peter, M.Sc.
Publications: in preparation
The Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) asks: “What do we really know about the sustainability of agriculture?”. However, as in many other sectors of society, there is no consensus on how sustainable agriculture should look like and how it can be achieved. Accordingly, the opinions about the current state and the desirable political design measures also differ. What can science contribute to the question of the extent to which a sustainability assessment of agricultural systems is possible at all?
Sustainability assessment at the company level is already taking place in the international and German regions. However, the systemic view of the entire agricultural sector is missing. However, this is necessary for sustainable agricultural and environmental policy in Germany and the European Union.
In July 2017 the ISÖ was commissioned with three research partners by the TAB to draw up an expert opinion within the framework of the project “Sustainability Assessment of Agricultural Systems – Status and Perspectives” by February 2018. This report is intended to provide information on the approaches to sustainability assessment of agricultural systems in order to serve as an orientation framework for an economically viable, environmentally compatible and socially sustainable design of the future agricultural and environmental policy.
The ISÖ team is working on one of the four main focuses of the project, comparing ecological and conventional agriculture as an example of a comparative sustainability assessment of agricultural systems. The partners are the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft eV (DLG) and Bioland Beratung GmbH. The aim is to develop a concept for a sustainability assessment of agricultural systems with as precise a description as possible of the need for action to implement.
Further information on the project can be found in TAB Letter No. 48 on page 7 (in German).