Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Research
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Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Research

Edited by Paula Kyrö

Allying and expanding the diverse fields of entrepreneurship and sustainable development research is a modern day imperative. This Handbook paints an illuminating picture of the historic and current understanding of the bond between entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The authors explore the basic contradictions between the two fields and outline the transformative role entrepreneurship can play in achieving sustainable development. More than 50 expert researchers and their research communities from 16 countries across Europe, Africa, Australia, North America, and the Middle East provide original and informative contributions on a variety of issues, from women’s empowerment to climate change and organic farmers to ecotourism.
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Chapter 16: Entrepreneurial functions by organic farmers

Marcus Dejardin, Jean Nizet and Denise Van Dam


Organic agriculture seeks to minimize the use of external inputs in the agricultural production process. It turns away from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and aims at ‘achieving optimal agro-ecosystems which are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable’ (Codex Alimentarius, 2007: 2). The possible contribution of organic farming to worldwide sustainable development is receiving increasing interest (OECD, 2003). That being the case, organic farming is itself developing, and is considered to be an evolving industry. In order to explain its evolution and its growing importance, entrepreneurship and its contribution to the development and renewal of agricultural activities may be considered. Entrepreneurship represents a necessary factor for organic farmers to respond to competition. It means the creation or recognition of opportunities; innovation and differentiation. Entrepreneurship might furthermore be at the heart of the process providing answers to the growing concern for sustainability, although little is still known in this regard, and the immensity of our scientific ignorance calls for considerable efforts in terms of research. As Hall et al. (2010: 440) emphasize: ‘(w)hile the case for entrepreneurship having a central role in a transition to a more sustainable society has been proposed by many, there remain major gaps in our knowledge of whether and how this process will actually unfold’. In light of the magnitude of the needs in terms of research, the contribution of this chapter appears rather modest.

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