For a very long time, agricultural policy has been interested only in productive or economic aspects. Nevertheless, interventions aiming to support farmers' income or to promote agricultural: modernisation have resulted in several 'negative' side-effects, such as increasing pollution, landscape depletion and deepening of regional disparities. Consequently, a need has emerged for confronting problems with a more comprehensive approach, taking into account the whole range of impacts caused by agriculture. The European Concerted Action on 'Landscape and Nature Production Capacity of Sustainable/Organic Farms' has proposed a checklist of criteria for sustainable landscape management. This article discusses procedures for summarising the above-mentioned criteria in an 'overall judgement'. The aim is to provide a tool capable to assess farm performance taking into account all the relevant impacts of farm activities. Firstly, the paper discusses issues related to information quality, focussing on the differences in procedures for processing quantitative and qualitative data. Secondly, the article analyses methods suitable for reaching an overall judgement based on several criteria. Thereafter, it discusses their application to a set of case study farms or to farm typologies, which can be obtained by processing data from statistics or ad hoc surveys. Advantages and drawbacks of the use of case studies and farm typologies are given while their integrated use is recommended. Two types of methodologies are presented. The first methodology, to be preferred if time, information or financial resources are not lacking, transforms initial information into Utility values and processes the latter by using more sophisticated techniques, such as multiple criteria analysis. The second uses a simplified: approach, transforming initial data on the base of quartiles and then summing them up without any weighting. The advantages of this method are an easy implementation and a methodology that can be understood by decision-makers and administrators, who do not have a background in statistics. Conclusions stress the importance of a more comprehensive approach in setting agricultural policies, since fanning activity influences landscape and environment quality besides other important features. From this viewpoint, decision-makers have to be able to foresee the whole range of effects induced from policy, to avoid 'unexpected side-effects'. Regarding Landscape Management, interventions aiming to promote the introduction or reintroduction of single landscape elements can give different results from those that were expected. Consequently, subsidising farm typologies or styles of farming that have been proved to have a positive effect on landscape could be a more reliable approach. Farm typologies or styles of farming to be promoted could be selected on the base of their 'social' performance, assessed according to a multi-dimensional approach as the one presented in this article. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
|Autori interni:||ANDREOLI, MARIA|
|Autori:||Andreoli M.; Tellarini V.|
|Titolo:||Farm sustainability evaluation: methodology and practice|
|Anno del prodotto:||2000|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/S0167-8809(99)00091-2|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|