Modelling worker physical health and societal sustainability at farm level: an application to conventional and organic dairy farming

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Farm-level modelling can be used to determine how farming systems and individual farm-management measures influence different sustainability indicators. Until now however, worker physical health and societal sustainability have been lacking in farm models. For this paper, we first selected attributes of physical health (working conditions) and societal sustainability (food safety, animal welfare and health, and landscape quality). Second, possible sustainability indicators for these attributes were identified, and those selected were included in an existing dairy farm LP-model that was subsequently used to analyse possible differences in societal sustainability within and between a conventional and organic dairy farming system. Results for physical health and societal sustainability were similar for conventional and organic dairy farming systems in the basis situation, as well as in the situation where additional management measures were applied to improve societal sustainability, but improved animal welfare did result in the organic system due to prescribed grazing, and due to assumed summer feeding in the conventional system. Results show that additional management measures considerably improved societal sustainability of the conventional as well as the organic system. LP-modelling appeared to be a suitable method for comparing farming systems and determining the effect of management measures on physical health and societal sustainability. The level of societal sustainability is determined mainly by applied management measures, and is related to the particular farming system in only a very limited way. This implies that societal sustainability is mainly dependent on the cost-effectiveness of management measures and on the attitude of the dairy farmer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-219
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • animal health
  • food safety
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • environmental indicators
  • landscape quality
  • economic-model
  • sick leave
  • agriculture
  • welfare
  • management

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling worker physical health and societal sustainability at farm level: an application to conventional and organic dairy farming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this