New Paper on „Certification Standards for Aquaculture Products: Bringing Together the Values of Producers and Consumers in Globalised Organic Food Markets“

Together with Dr. Stefan Bergleiter (Naturland e.V.), I published a paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. It is online first and will be part of a special issue that brings together selected contributions to the 2012 EurSafe General Conference and that will be published this spring.

This paper deals with the role of certifiers in bringing together the values of consumers and producers in aquaculture. Here you find the abstract:

„From a certifier’s perspective (Naturland e.V.), this paper deals with the question of how to bring together the values of producers and consumers in globalized food markets. It is argued that growth and mainstreaming of organic food production cannot be achieved solely by ethically aware consumers signalling their more sustainable purchase decision to the market. In fact, the intrinsic motivation of producers is an indispensable requisite for such a development. It is then the organic movement’s and the certifier’s (such as Naturland e.V.) task to bring together the values of consumers and producers. This challenge is explored in the following by using the example of organic aquaculture. Based on one of the author’s experience in the field of aquaculture certification since the late 1990s, in about twenty countries and with most aquaculture animal species, the paper examines critical value-based aspects that are prominent from the perspective of sustainability. These are: use of problematic substances in aquaculture production, stocking density, origin of feedstuff, certification procedure, and small-scale farming versus large aquaculture companies. On this basis, the paper describes and analyses attempts to formulate respective organic certification standards. In order to bring about organic aquaculture, it is argued that consumers’ choices alone are not sufficient and that successful transformation to sustainable aquaculture also needs to take into account values and preferences of producers.“

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