A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems

Miranda P.M. Meuwissen, Peter H. Feindt, A. Spiegel, Catrien J.A.M. Termeer, Erik Mathijs, Yann de Mey, Robert Finger, Alfons Balmann, E. Wauters, J. Urquhart, M. Vigani, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Hugo Herrera, Phillipa Nicholas-Davies, Helena Hansson, Wim Paas, Thomas Slijper, Isabeau Coopmans, Willemijn Vroege, Anna Ciechomska & 12 others Francesco Accatino, Birgit Kopainsky, Marijn P. Poortvliet, Jeroen J.L. Candel, Damian Maye, Simone Severini, Saverio Senni, Bárbara Soriano, Carl Johan Lagerkvist, Mariya Peneva, Camelia Gavrilescu, Pytrik Reidsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain actors are embedded in local environments and functions of agriculture. We define resilience of a farming system as its ability to ensure the provision of the system functions in the face of increasingly complex and accumulating economic, social, environmental and institutional shocks and stresses, through capacities of robustness, adaptability and transformability. We (i) develop a framework to assess the resilience of farming systems, and (ii) present a methodology to operationalize the framework with a view to Europe's diverse farming systems. The framework is designed to assess resilience to specific challenges (specified resilience) as well as a farming system's capacity to deal with the unknown, uncertainty and surprise (general resilience). The framework provides a heuristic to analyze system properties, challenges (shocks, long-term stresses), indicators to measure the performance of system functions, resilience capacities and resilience-enhancing attributes. Capacities and attributes refer to adaptive cycle processes of agricultural practices, farm demographics, governance and risk management. The novelty of the framework pertains to the focal scale of analysis, i.e. the farming system level, the consideration of accumulating challenges and various agricultural processes, and the consideration that farming systems provide multiple functions that can change over time. Furthermore, the distinction between three resilience capacities (robustness, adaptability, transformability) ensures that the framework goes beyond narrow definitions that limit resilience to robustness. The methodology deploys a mixed-methods approach: quantitative methods, such as statistics, econometrics and modelling, are used to identify underlying patterns, causal explanations and likely contributing factors; while qualitative methods, such as interviews, participatory approaches and stakeholder workshops, access experiential and contextual knowledge and provide more nuanced insights. More specifically, analysis along the framework explores multiple nested levels of farming systems (e.g. farm, farm household, supply chain, farming system) over a time horizon of 1–2 generations, thereby enabling reflection on potential temporal and scalar trade-offs across resilience attributes. The richness of the framework is illustrated for the arable farming system in Veenkoloniën, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a relatively low capacity of this farming system to transform and farmers feeling distressed about transformation, while other members of their households have experienced many examples of transformation.

LanguageEnglish
Article number102656
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume176
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

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farming systems
farms
supply chain
households
farmers
econometrics
ecological economics
risk management
governance
qualitative analysis
stakeholders
quantitative analysis
socioeconomics
interviews
Netherlands
demographic statistics
uncertainty
statistics
methodology
agriculture

Keywords

  • Enabling environment
  • Farming systems
  • Long-term stresses
  • Private and public goods
  • Resilience capacities
  • Shocks

Cite this

Meuwissen, Miranda P.M. ; Feindt, Peter H. ; Spiegel, A. ; Termeer, Catrien J.A.M. ; Mathijs, Erik ; de Mey, Yann ; Finger, Robert ; Balmann, Alfons ; Wauters, E. ; Urquhart, J. ; Vigani, M. ; Zawalińska, Katarzyna ; Herrera, Hugo ; Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa ; Hansson, Helena ; Paas, Wim ; Slijper, Thomas ; Coopmans, Isabeau ; Vroege, Willemijn ; Ciechomska, Anna ; Accatino, Francesco ; Kopainsky, Birgit ; Poortvliet, Marijn P. ; Candel, Jeroen J.L. ; Maye, Damian ; Severini, Simone ; Senni, Saverio ; Soriano, Bárbara ; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan ; Peneva, Mariya ; Gavrilescu, Camelia ; Reidsma, Pytrik. / A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems. In: Agricultural Systems. 2019 ; Vol. 176.
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title = "A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems",
abstract = "Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain actors are embedded in local environments and functions of agriculture. We define resilience of a farming system as its ability to ensure the provision of the system functions in the face of increasingly complex and accumulating economic, social, environmental and institutional shocks and stresses, through capacities of robustness, adaptability and transformability. We (i) develop a framework to assess the resilience of farming systems, and (ii) present a methodology to operationalize the framework with a view to Europe's diverse farming systems. The framework is designed to assess resilience to specific challenges (specified resilience) as well as a farming system's capacity to deal with the unknown, uncertainty and surprise (general resilience). The framework provides a heuristic to analyze system properties, challenges (shocks, long-term stresses), indicators to measure the performance of system functions, resilience capacities and resilience-enhancing attributes. Capacities and attributes refer to adaptive cycle processes of agricultural practices, farm demographics, governance and risk management. The novelty of the framework pertains to the focal scale of analysis, i.e. the farming system level, the consideration of accumulating challenges and various agricultural processes, and the consideration that farming systems provide multiple functions that can change over time. Furthermore, the distinction between three resilience capacities (robustness, adaptability, transformability) ensures that the framework goes beyond narrow definitions that limit resilience to robustness. The methodology deploys a mixed-methods approach: quantitative methods, such as statistics, econometrics and modelling, are used to identify underlying patterns, causal explanations and likely contributing factors; while qualitative methods, such as interviews, participatory approaches and stakeholder workshops, access experiential and contextual knowledge and provide more nuanced insights. More specifically, analysis along the framework explores multiple nested levels of farming systems (e.g. farm, farm household, supply chain, farming system) over a time horizon of 1–2 generations, thereby enabling reflection on potential temporal and scalar trade-offs across resilience attributes. The richness of the framework is illustrated for the arable farming system in Veenkoloni{\"e}n, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a relatively low capacity of this farming system to transform and farmers feeling distressed about transformation, while other members of their households have experienced many examples of transformation.",
keywords = "Enabling environment, Farming systems, Long-term stresses, Private and public goods, Resilience capacities, Shocks",
author = "Meuwissen, {Miranda P.M.} and Feindt, {Peter H.} and A. Spiegel and Termeer, {Catrien J.A.M.} and Erik Mathijs and {de Mey}, Yann and Robert Finger and Alfons Balmann and E. Wauters and J. Urquhart and M. Vigani and Katarzyna Zawalińska and Hugo Herrera and Phillipa Nicholas-Davies and Helena Hansson and Wim Paas and Thomas Slijper and Isabeau Coopmans and Willemijn Vroege and Anna Ciechomska and Francesco Accatino and Birgit Kopainsky and Poortvliet, {Marijn P.} and Candel, {Jeroen J.L.} and Damian Maye and Simone Severini and Saverio Senni and B{\'a}rbara Soriano and Lagerkvist, {Carl Johan} and Mariya Peneva and Camelia Gavrilescu and Pytrik Reidsma",
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Meuwissen, MPM, Feindt, PH, Spiegel, A, Termeer, CJAM, Mathijs, E, de Mey, Y, Finger, R, Balmann, A, Wauters, E, Urquhart, J, Vigani, M, Zawalińska, K, Herrera, H, Nicholas-Davies, P, Hansson, H, Paas, W, Slijper, T, Coopmans, I, Vroege, W, Ciechomska, A, Accatino, F, Kopainsky, B, Poortvliet, MP, Candel, JJL, Maye, D, Severini, S, Senni, S, Soriano, B, Lagerkvist, CJ, Peneva, M, Gavrilescu, C & Reidsma, P 2019, 'A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems', Agricultural Systems, vol. 176, 102656. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2019.102656

A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems. / Meuwissen, Miranda P.M.; Feindt, Peter H.; Spiegel, A.; Termeer, Catrien J.A.M.; Mathijs, Erik; de Mey, Yann; Finger, Robert; Balmann, Alfons; Wauters, E.; Urquhart, J.; Vigani, M.; Zawalińska, Katarzyna; Herrera, Hugo; Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa; Hansson, Helena; Paas, Wim; Slijper, Thomas; Coopmans, Isabeau; Vroege, Willemijn; Ciechomska, Anna; Accatino, Francesco; Kopainsky, Birgit; Poortvliet, Marijn P.; Candel, Jeroen J.L.; Maye, Damian; Severini, Simone; Senni, Saverio; Soriano, Bárbara; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan; Peneva, Mariya; Gavrilescu, Camelia; Reidsma, Pytrik.

In: Agricultural Systems, Vol. 176, 102656, 01.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems

AU - Meuwissen, Miranda P.M.

AU - Feindt, Peter H.

AU - Spiegel, A.

AU - Termeer, Catrien J.A.M.

AU - Mathijs, Erik

AU - de Mey, Yann

AU - Finger, Robert

AU - Balmann, Alfons

AU - Wauters, E.

AU - Urquhart, J.

AU - Vigani, M.

AU - Zawalińska, Katarzyna

AU - Herrera, Hugo

AU - Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa

AU - Hansson, Helena

AU - Paas, Wim

AU - Slijper, Thomas

AU - Coopmans, Isabeau

AU - Vroege, Willemijn

AU - Ciechomska, Anna

AU - Accatino, Francesco

AU - Kopainsky, Birgit

AU - Poortvliet, Marijn P.

AU - Candel, Jeroen J.L.

AU - Maye, Damian

AU - Severini, Simone

AU - Senni, Saverio

AU - Soriano, Bárbara

AU - Lagerkvist, Carl Johan

AU - Peneva, Mariya

AU - Gavrilescu, Camelia

AU - Reidsma, Pytrik

PY - 2019/11/1

Y1 - 2019/11/1

N2 - Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain actors are embedded in local environments and functions of agriculture. We define resilience of a farming system as its ability to ensure the provision of the system functions in the face of increasingly complex and accumulating economic, social, environmental and institutional shocks and stresses, through capacities of robustness, adaptability and transformability. We (i) develop a framework to assess the resilience of farming systems, and (ii) present a methodology to operationalize the framework with a view to Europe's diverse farming systems. The framework is designed to assess resilience to specific challenges (specified resilience) as well as a farming system's capacity to deal with the unknown, uncertainty and surprise (general resilience). The framework provides a heuristic to analyze system properties, challenges (shocks, long-term stresses), indicators to measure the performance of system functions, resilience capacities and resilience-enhancing attributes. Capacities and attributes refer to adaptive cycle processes of agricultural practices, farm demographics, governance and risk management. The novelty of the framework pertains to the focal scale of analysis, i.e. the farming system level, the consideration of accumulating challenges and various agricultural processes, and the consideration that farming systems provide multiple functions that can change over time. Furthermore, the distinction between three resilience capacities (robustness, adaptability, transformability) ensures that the framework goes beyond narrow definitions that limit resilience to robustness. The methodology deploys a mixed-methods approach: quantitative methods, such as statistics, econometrics and modelling, are used to identify underlying patterns, causal explanations and likely contributing factors; while qualitative methods, such as interviews, participatory approaches and stakeholder workshops, access experiential and contextual knowledge and provide more nuanced insights. More specifically, analysis along the framework explores multiple nested levels of farming systems (e.g. farm, farm household, supply chain, farming system) over a time horizon of 1–2 generations, thereby enabling reflection on potential temporal and scalar trade-offs across resilience attributes. The richness of the framework is illustrated for the arable farming system in Veenkoloniën, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a relatively low capacity of this farming system to transform and farmers feeling distressed about transformation, while other members of their households have experienced many examples of transformation.

AB - Agricultural systems in Europe face accumulating economic, ecological and societal challenges, raising concerns about their resilience to shocks and stresses. These resilience issues need to be addressed with a focus on the regional context in which farming systems operate because farms, farmers' organizations, service suppliers and supply chain actors are embedded in local environments and functions of agriculture. We define resilience of a farming system as its ability to ensure the provision of the system functions in the face of increasingly complex and accumulating economic, social, environmental and institutional shocks and stresses, through capacities of robustness, adaptability and transformability. We (i) develop a framework to assess the resilience of farming systems, and (ii) present a methodology to operationalize the framework with a view to Europe's diverse farming systems. The framework is designed to assess resilience to specific challenges (specified resilience) as well as a farming system's capacity to deal with the unknown, uncertainty and surprise (general resilience). The framework provides a heuristic to analyze system properties, challenges (shocks, long-term stresses), indicators to measure the performance of system functions, resilience capacities and resilience-enhancing attributes. Capacities and attributes refer to adaptive cycle processes of agricultural practices, farm demographics, governance and risk management. The novelty of the framework pertains to the focal scale of analysis, i.e. the farming system level, the consideration of accumulating challenges and various agricultural processes, and the consideration that farming systems provide multiple functions that can change over time. Furthermore, the distinction between three resilience capacities (robustness, adaptability, transformability) ensures that the framework goes beyond narrow definitions that limit resilience to robustness. The methodology deploys a mixed-methods approach: quantitative methods, such as statistics, econometrics and modelling, are used to identify underlying patterns, causal explanations and likely contributing factors; while qualitative methods, such as interviews, participatory approaches and stakeholder workshops, access experiential and contextual knowledge and provide more nuanced insights. More specifically, analysis along the framework explores multiple nested levels of farming systems (e.g. farm, farm household, supply chain, farming system) over a time horizon of 1–2 generations, thereby enabling reflection on potential temporal and scalar trade-offs across resilience attributes. The richness of the framework is illustrated for the arable farming system in Veenkoloniën, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a relatively low capacity of this farming system to transform and farmers feeling distressed about transformation, while other members of their households have experienced many examples of transformation.

KW - Enabling environment

KW - Farming systems

KW - Long-term stresses

KW - Private and public goods

KW - Resilience capacities

KW - Shocks

U2 - 10.1016/j.agsy.2019.102656

DO - 10.1016/j.agsy.2019.102656

M3 - Article

VL - 176

JO - Agricultural Systems

T2 - Agricultural Systems

JF - Agricultural Systems

SN - 0308-521X

M1 - 102656

ER -