Societal and economic options to support grassland-based dairy production in Europe
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CitationA. Van den Pol-van Dasselaar, T. Becker and A. Botana Fernández et al. Societal and economic options to support grassland-based dairy production in Europe. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research. 2021, Vol. 59(2):258-269. DOI: 10.15212/ijafr-2020-0128
AbstractGrassland-based dairy production provides multiple benefits to farmers and to the wider society, but the European grassland area has been significantly reduced during the last decades. This paper aims to explore societal and economic options to support grassland-based dairy production in Europe. In the recent past, several societal initiatives have emerged to stimulate grassland-based dairy production: treaties, premiums and market concepts. When developing stimulating initiatives, the mindset of the farmer should be taken into account. Farmers are key actors when it comes to maintaining and improving grassland-based dairy production systems since they decide on the day-to-day management of the farm. To maintain grassland-based dairy production and to preserve the associated ecosystem services, it is, therefore, necessary to clearly show the importance of this production system for society to the farmers (show the customer perspective) and to support this by valuing the products from these systems accordingly. “New” business models should financially reward farmers for their added value contributions in delivering ecosystem services.
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