Sustainability levels in Irish dairy farming: a farm typology according to sustainable performance indicators

Micha, Evgenia ORCID: 0000-0002-5697-3317, Heanue, Kevin, Hyland, John J., Hennessy, Thia, Dillon, Emma Jane and Buckley, Cathal (2017) Sustainability levels in Irish dairy farming: a farm typology according to sustainable performance indicators. Studies in Agricultural Economics, 119 (2). pp. 62-69. ISSN 2063-0476

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Abstract

Feeding the world’s population in a sustainable manner is one of the key challenges facing the future of global agriculture. The recent removal of the milk quota regime in the European Union has prompted an expansionary phase in dairy farming, especially in Ireland. Achieving this expansion in a sustainable manner is crucial to the long-term survival and success of the Irish dairy sector. In this paper we examine the sustainability of Irish dairy farming, defining ‘sustainability’ as economically profitable, environmentally friendly and socially efficient. A typology of Irish dairy farms has been created using data on profitability, environmental efficiency and social integration derived from the Teagasc National Farm Survey. Economic, social and environmental performance indicators were determined and aggregated and then used in a multivariate analysis for the identification and classification of farm clusters. The purpose of this study to classify Irish dairy farms using performance indicators, thereby, assisting policy makers in identifying patterns in farm performance with a view to formulating more targeted policies. Two of the three clusters elicited from the analysis were similar in regards to their respective indicator scores. However, the remaining cluster was found to perform poorly in comparison. The results indicate a clear distinction between ‘good’ and ‘weak’ performers, and the positive relationship between the economic, environmental and social performance of Irish dairy farms is evident.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economic; Environment; Social; Less favoured areas; Policy; Multivariate analysis
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Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 13:10
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 14:16
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6565

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