Basic values > description of work

Description of work

The research questions will be addressed in the following tasks:

Task 2.1: Review and analyse historical and present material from the organic farming movement (books, articles, declarations, aims, standards, etc.) to find key normative concepts and statements that show evidence of the organic value basis. Perform a philosophical inquiry on these normative notions in order to identify basic ethical values and, in effect, suggest a harmonisation of the basic values of organic agriculture.

Task 2.2: Perform philosophical case studies on the interplay and compromises between different basic organic farming values, public interests, and technical and economic concerns in three to five contested areas (such as non-use of antibiotics, use of copper for spraying, free-ranging of animals, ringing of sows, dehorning of cows, use of conventional and synthetic feeds, use of conventional manure, use of human faeces as soil fertilizer, use of conventional breeds and seeds, hybrid varieties) in selected organic regulations (the EU regulation plus organic standards to be chosen on the basis of input from WP3 ).

Task 2.3: Perform an empirical inquiry (by way of focus groups) on current “organic” values among stakeholders "from fork to farm" in various regions of the EU. This task will make use of the OMIARD investigation on consumer values and supplement it by making focus groups with producers (e.g. three groups: biodynamic, "old" organic, and "new" organic in five countries from different European regions, i.e. Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, which all were involved in the OMIARD investigation) and other stakeholder groups (e.g. three groups: "dedicated" retailers with a policy for organic products, the IFOAM EU group of external experts, and the article 14 committee).

Task 2.4: Develop a procedure for balancing and integrating the basic ethical values of organic farming in the development of EU Regulation 2092/91 and other organic standards, in consideration of value differences among different stakeholders and public interests, based on the output of task 1.2, 2.2 and 2.3; and prepare recommendations on the implementation of the procedure. The procedure should allow for regionalisation of the regulations where necessitated by the natural and cultural conditions.


Expected results

Report on results of empirical inquiry on organic values among selected stakeholders

Description of basic ethical values and value differences in European organic agriculture communicated to WP3, WP4, WP5 and WP6

A report on the procedure for balancing and integrating basic ethical values and value differences in the development of organic regulations and standards, with examples from case studies (expected in 2006)