Maximising sustainability of Dutch dairy farming systems for different stakeholders: A modelling approach

K.J. van Calker, P.B.M. Berentsen, G.W.J. Giesen, R.B.M. Huirne

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32 Citations (Scopus)


A multi-attribute sustainability function is included into a dairy farm LP-model by using Weighted Goal Programming. The created Weighted Linear Goal Programming (WLGP)-model is used to maximise sustainability of different Dutch dairy farming systems and to analyse the impact of: (1) maximisation of individual sustainability aspects (economic, social and ecological sustainability) and (2) maximisation of overall sustainability using stakeholder preferences. Maximising the individual aspects of both dairy farming systems, i.e. conventional and organic, shows the trade-offs between different aspects of sustainability. For conventional as well as organic dairy farming maximum scores are highest for external social sustainability. The conventional dairy farm achieves a slightly higher score for overall sustainability than the organic dairy farm for all stakeholders (i.e. consumers and producers). This shows that it is possible for conventional dairy farms, similar to the conventional farm used in the analysis especially regarding the stocking density and under Dutch policy conditions, to achieve equal sustainability scores in comparison with organic dairy farms. It is concluded that the WLGP model is a suitable tool to analyse the sustainability of different dairy farming systems. Keywords: Dairy farming; Sustainability; Modelling; Weighted Goal Programming; Stakeholders; Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-419
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • level
  • consequences
  • netherlands
  • performance
  • simulation
  • management
  • field


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