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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Farmers' perceived values in conventional and organic farming: A comparison between French, Irish and Swedish farmers using the Means-end chain approach

Leduc, Gaelle; Billaudet, Larissa; Engstrom, Ebba; Hansson, Helena; Ryan, Mary


Values act as driving forces for individuals to behave in a certain way or to choose certain actions. They may explain current differences of converted organic land among EU countries. In this paper, we identified and compared the types of values, economic and other, that motivate farmers to choose certified organic or con-ventional production systems in France, Ireland and Sweden. To identify these values, we analysed and compared attribute-consequence-value representations of the choice of production systems among farmers, using a Means-end chain approach. Seventy-eight in-depth laddering interviews were conducted to explore how farmers characterised their choice, the consequences they perceived from these characteristics and the values they associated with these consequences. The uncovered values were classified along Rokeach's typology to distin-guish between instrumental and terminal values. Results indicate that both farmers with a conventional farm and farmers with a certified organic farm are driven by complex sets of financial, business, or productivity values and by non-financial, non-business, or non-productivity values. Findings are useful to policy makers and farm ad -visors, who can use these results to develop more efficient communication schemes to promote organic farming. The findings can also be communicated to consumers and the public in order to encourage consumption.


Human values; Means-end chain; Organic farming; Rokeach ?s values; Laddering interviews; Hierarchical value maps

Published in

Ecological Economics
2023, Volume: 207, article number: 107767
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    SLU Authors

    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Business Administration
      Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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