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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Risk Management and its Role in Enhancing Perceived Resilience Capacities of Farms and Farming Systems in Europe

Spiegel, Alisa; Soriano, Barbara; de Mey, Yann; Slijper, Thomas; Urquhart, Julie; Bardaji, Isabel; Vigani, Mauro; Severini, Simone; Meuwissen, Miranda


In facing future challenges, risk management (RM) is essential for European farming systems (FS). This article synthesises lessons learned on RM based on a farm survey, interviews with farmers, and focus groups involving a range of FS actors. In contrast to previous literature, we broaden the definition of RM to include strategies that target long-term structural challenges, as well as expanding the level of analysis from the farm to the FS level. The results were consistent across the different methods. We found that farmers mainly worry about economic challenges: in particular long-term pressures. We also found that European farmers have implemented diverse RM strategies in the past five years, and that no single strategy has been applied by the vast majority of farmers. In line with perceptions of future challenges, there is a demand for the reorientation of RM strategies towards long-term pressures, rather than short-term shocks. FS actors were found to perceive RM as enhancing resilience capacities, especially adaptability. The results of interviews distinguished between major learning strategies and the attributes of farmers for enhancing robustness, adaptive or transformative capacities. Focus group discussions revealed that the future development of RM strategies requires contributions by all FS actors.

Published in

2020, Volume: 19, number: 2, pages: 45-53
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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