A quick scan tool to assess the relative prospects of European regions for sustainable agriculture in a liberal market

P.H. Vereijken, C.M.L. Hermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The European Union (EU) most likely will continue to adapt its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to a more liberal market policy. We assume that this process will take place in the next 20 years. A relevant question then is which European regions, under such conditions, have prospects to maintain a sustainable agriculture in terms of the objectives within the ‘People, Profit and Planet’ framework of sustainability. We explored the question by defining simple indicators for the 3 P-objectives, quantifying the indicators per region, ranking the regions per indicator and defining the prospect of a region in comparison to other regions. The approach is very robust, easy to update and indicative for quickly assessing future prospects of regions. The results are presented in three maps showing more than 160 regions of the EU-25 member countries classified according to their agricultural prospects for competitiveness (Profit), employment (People) and land use (Planet). By considering the three maps in combination, the overall prospects for sustainable agriculture under “liberalised” conditions can be assessed. Based on this quick scan, it is concluded that: (a) the few highly developed and highly productive regions in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Germany will out-compete the numerous still poorly developed and low-productive regions in the Southern and Eastern EU member states; (b) these regions in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Germany will maintain their already minimized and highly productive employment at the expense of the member states with a relatively high agrarian employment, notably Poland and the Baltic states; (c) the sparsely populated regions of France, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Czech Republic and Germany will maintain their agrarian land use, at the expense of densely populated regions with relatively small holdings in Poland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain. Policy makers and entrepreneurs can obtain an integrative view by taking into account the three prospect maps to support decision-making on long-term policies and sustainable investments in terms of the 3 Ps
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-448
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • land-use
  • productivity
  • impact

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