The role of collaborations in the development and implementation of sustainable livestock concepts in The Netherlands

E.M. de Olde*, G.J. Carsjens, Catharina H.A.M. Eilers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the role of collaborations in the development and implementation of sustainable livestock farming. The study reflects upon the experiences with two innovative pig farming concepts in the Netherlands that aim to address sustainability-related concerns regarding the economic viability, environmental impact and social responsibility of livestock production. The findings show that collaborations can result in smarter and innovative solutions and provide support in the development of more sustainable farming oncepts. The study also shows that collaborations do not safeguard the implementing of these concepts in practice. Pioneers are confronted with higher production costs and the complex context of agricultural policies and regulations. These pioneering efforts are, however, the seeds for change, and the key ingredient for a transition towards more sustainable production. We rely upon their innovations, social networks and learning experiences in the transition towards more sustainable production. Therefore, pioneers need to be protected from market influences and regulatory barriers, and supported by intermediaries when developing novelties for a more sustainable agriculture. The findings emphasize the need for more knowledge exchange and understanding between farmers, policy-makers and researchers to navigate towards a more sustainable agriculture in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-168
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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