Diversity of pig farming styles: understanding how it is structured

M.A.M. Commandeur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Modern pig farmers work with a variety of objectives they apply to their current situation and future insecurities. They face the daily realities of managing their herd, organizing their time and resources and gaining an income, realities that have been shaped by the past. Supported by technology this daily reality is constantly progressing towards further increase of intensity and scale. The future is unpredictable and not promising. Falling prices, increased risks of disease outbreaks, food quality problems and conflicting interests of consumer demands, all help create uncertainty. Where do farmers take a stand in this turbulent environment? Field surveys have revealed that there is no single answer. Depending on their ambition for revenues and development and on their rationale for the current condition of the farm, farmers hold a variety of positions. There are various styles of farming. Each style represents a specific and integral logic in relation to their ambition and rationale. Farmers express their dominant logic in their specific objectives and strategies. Using results from field research in the Netherlands this paper illustrates what styles of farming mean, how they relate to management indicators, what relevance they have to diversifying and expanding markets and the opportunities and risks these present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-127
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • pig farming
  • farm management
  • sociological analysis
  • animal disease prevention
  • classical swine-fever
  • netherlands


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