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    Ingo Zasada
    Carles Sanchis-Ibor
    Inmaculada Guaita-Pradas
    Amparo Baviera-Puig
    Silverio Alarcón
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    Marcio Giannini Pereira
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    Catherine E. Laurent
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    Projects (4)
    Project
    Currently, I am working on the Viable InTensification of Agricultural production through sustainable Landscape transition (VITAL) is an European Union’s Horizon 2020 research project, where we analyze constraints and opportunities for sustainable intensification of agriculture in Europe.
    Project
    The project VITAL explores transition processes of European agricultural systems towards sustainably intensified production. VITAL identifies how differences in agricultural systems, their spatial frameworks and the role of actors, lead to, or inhibit, alternate transition processes of SI. The feasibility of different SI pathways is upscaled across Europe, hence moving beyond the level of individual farms and regions. Suitable spatial configurations of SI across land use systems are identified, accounting for the landscape and regional context.
    Project
    SALSA has been designed to meet the significant intellectual and practical challenge of developing a better understanding of the current and potential contribution of small farms and food businesses to Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) in an increasingly globalised and uncertain world. In our pursuit of research excellence we pay particular attention to: capturing the diversity of food systems and small farm situations in Europe and Africa; looking beyond production capacity to include all four dimensions of FNS; fully considering the gradient of socioeconomic conditions in different regions of Europe and Africa, and fully and effectively engaging with stakeholders to cut across classical boundaries in food system structures and situations, Europe-Africa relations, research, policy and practice.
    Research
    Research Items (28)
    The Brazilian biodiesel industry has rapidly developed under the National Biodiesel Production and Use Programme (PNPB) launched in 2004, which is to be replaced by a new regulatory framework that is now under discussion. This paper aims to take stock of the evolution of the structure of the biodiesel industry in this country under the implementation of the PNPB -between 2005 and 2016- and to understand its current traits. The research combines a dynamic analysis of the industrial concentration indexes (closing the time gap with previous studies on this matter) and a multivariate analysis of the productive characteristics of the biodiesel plants operating in 2016. Results show that, following a period of de-concentration between 2005 and 2011, the industry entered in a stage of certain stability in the concentration indexes. This picture disguises the exit of biodiesel plants and firms from this market and a business horizontal growth in the last period. The static analysis has allowed for the identification of different 'business models' considering the scale of the plants and the input and output strategies of the firms producing biodiesel.
    The recent economic crisis in Spain has provoked a number of food and nutrition security (FNS) impacts that have fuelled a fragmented landscape of food-related debates, although these have not taken the form of a coherent and all-embracing public discussion on national food security. This paper is an inductive analysis of such debates, mostly based on media coverage, in an attempt to disentangle the different discourse frames on FNS in Spain, and the role played by the economic crisis in the shaping and underpinning of such frames. For this purpose a frame matrix was constructed, paying particular attention to the stakeholders’ governance claims in order to confront frame-specific problems. Results show how stakeholders have used elements of the crisis to underpin or reinterpret their core arguments. In addition, governance claims have concentrated on the malfunctioning of the food chain, mostly due to unequal bargaining power, and the way this could be putting at risk crucial components of the food system and future FNS. Also, the short-termism of most stakeholders’ approaches obscures the long run threats to the Spanish food system.
    A key element of regional growth is its ability to transform knowledge into innovation. This research combines a group of indicators which define innovative regions with a rurality versus urbanization typology, in order to formulate guidelines to facilitate the emergence of higher levels of organizational innovation. Three main findings stem from this work. First, rurality does not appear prohibitive to the achievement of organizational innovation. Second, in regions with low levels of tertiary education, a combination of high levels of collaboration among small- and medium-sized enterprises, and public investment in research and development facilitates significant rates of organizational innovation. Third, in general, collaboration among firms promotes organizational innovation. The results of this research are in line with those from other studies in the sense that regions with internal and external networks show enhanced growth and innovation capacities.
    The production of biodiesel in Brazil is encouraged by the government through the Fuel Stamp, a certification system linked to the National Plan for Production and Use of Biodiesel – PNPB – aimed at promoting economic and sustainable development. It focuses on social inclusion, also intending to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and emission of pollutants and diversify the energetic matrix through the use of different oil sources as raw material. Certification – and with it a number of tax benefits – are granted to industrial processors that are supplied with raw materials coming from small-scale farms. Thus, it facilitates the access of the family farms in this value chain. The objective of this work is to analyze the effects of this system of certification in the transactions between its main agents, farmers and processing industries. For this purpose, the work makes a revision of the studies that national public agencies have elaborated on regional cases and also scientific publications. Results show that this measure allowed the insertion of family farmers in the production chain and enabled the sustainable rural development. However, it presents gaps as the occurrence of failures in the fulfilment of contracts between family farmers and the industry. Moreover, in spite of being crop diversification, one of the objectives of the certification system, the preference of the industry for soy as raw material – because of technological reasons – is displacing traditional regional crops (for example palm and castor oil).
    The production of biodiesel in Brazil is encouraged by the government through the Fuel Stamp, a certification system linked to the National Plan for Production and Use of Biodiesel – PNPB – aimed at promoting economic and sustainable development. It focuses on social inclusion, also intending to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and emission of pollutants and diversify the energetic matrix through the use of different oil sources as raw material. Certification – and with it a number of tax benefits – are granted to industrial processors that are supplied with raw materials coming from small-scale farms. Thus, it facilitates the access of the family farms in this value chain. The objective of this work is to analyze the effects of this system of certification in the transactions between its main agents, farmers and processing industries. For this purpose, the work makes a revision of the studies that national public agencies have elaborated on regional cases and also scientific publications. Results show that this measure allowed the insertion of family farmers in the production chain and enabled the sustainable rural development. However, it presents gaps as the occurrence of failures in the fulfilment of contracts between family farmers and the industry. Moreover, in spite of being crop diversification, one of the objectives of the certification system, the preference of the industry for soy as raw material – because of technological reasons – is displacing traditional regional crops (for example palm and castor oil).
    El marco económico, ambiental y social que rodea a los ecosistemas en el entorno mediterráneo en general y en la Comunitat Valenciana en particular, ha derivado en que cada vez hayan adquirido más importancia los servicios ecosistémicos de regulación, culturales y de soporte frente a los tradicionales de producción, aunque esto aún no se haya traducido en una valoración y compensación a los gestores que ofrecen estos servicios. Uno de los servicios de mayor importancia en nuestro entorno es el papel que pueden jugar los bosques como reguladores de los incendios forestales, es decir, la capacidad que presentan para que los incendios que los recorran se produzcan con una frecuencia, intensidad y consecuencias por debajo de unos límites ecológica, económica y socialmente aceptables y sostenibles. Esta importancia viene derivada del alto grado de riesgo en el que se encuentran nuestras masas frente a episodios de fuego, a las importantes sinergias que presenta con el resto de servicios ambientales, así como a la implicación que tiene con la protección de vidas humanas y bienes materiales. El principal objetivo de este trabajo es realizar un acercamiento a las consideraciones que un sistema de pago por servicios ambientales en el que el servicio ambiental considerado sea la regulación de los incendios forestales, presenta en un ámbito como la Comunitat Valenciana. En concreto, se analiza la definición del propio servicio ambiental y su inclusión dentro del PATFOR, se estudian las características teóricas, agentes implicados y condicionantes de un sistema puro de PSA y cómo podría aplicarse a la prevención de incendios, así como se resumen algunas actuaciones ya desarrolladas con alguna característica propia de PSA. De esta forma se pretende mostrar cómo este tipo de mecanismos pueden ser una buena herramienta para incrementar la gestión forestal y la generación de servicios ambientales así como reducir el riesgo de incendios, especialmente en las zonas de interfaz urbano-forestal.
    Farmers' organizations are essential actors in fair trade certification schemes, and therefore in delivering their associated benefits for poor small-scale farmers. However, the dynamics and challenges faced by these cooperative organizations have been largely bypassed in the fair trade literature. In this context, this paper aims to unpack the multiple, coexisting and interwoven marketing channels available for small-scale coffee producers, unveiling potential sources of uncertainty and tensions among competing actors and interests, and identifying and assessing the strategies used by organizations to influence farmers' marketing decisions. The analysis comprises two case studies based in the department of Huehuetenango (Guatemala), where the existence of distinct marketing channels combines with processes of product differentiation, namely organic production. Results show the limitations of standard fair trade mechanisms to secure farmers' engagement with cooperative organizations. Rather, technical advice to improve farming practices and quality construction seem to be a more effective mechanism to govern this collective supply chain. Nevertheless, these strategies could be further constrained by productive and organizational factors, affecting the sustainability of potential benefits delivered by these key collective actors. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
    This chapter aims to analyse the evolution of competing paradigms and theoretical frameworks that have pervaded the debates on the present and future of agricultural and food systems and their associated rural areas. From this global overview, we will extract common features of paradigms that are being reproduced over time as well as highlight the innovations introduced. Particular attention will be paid to discuss the responses and contributions inspired by European Mediterranean-based research, setting up the framework that underlines the subsequent chapters of the volume.
    This introductory chapter evidences the need to push again to the fore research undertaken in Southern European countries, highlighting its Mediterranean features and how they relate to old and new theoretical and political debates. Consequently, in this first chapter we describe the main aim of the book as well as how the subsequent chapters contribute to fulfill this quest outlining the structure of the book.
    This chapter presents an overview of the 'big' data of Mediterranean agriculture, with a special focus on the four EU countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece), in order to provide a backdrop for the rest of cases analysed in the volume. In this regard, two thesis are discussed: the assumption that farming systems in the South have not followed the process of 'productivist modernisation' characterising post-war Northern European agricultural change, and that, precisely due to this reason, most holdings and regions from the South would have more possibilities to adapt to new approaches of multifunctional rural development. Thus, the chapter tackles both the static and dynamic structural traits of Southern agricultures and their differences with the North, as well as several aspects of the organisation of farming in the Mediterranean and other key components of productivist modernisation: farm intensification and specialisation. Later, the diffusion of multifunctional dynamics is addressed, in order to introduce some reflections about their meaning and scope in the Mediterranean regions. The chapter ends with a straightforward typology of Southern farming systems and a concluding section, which goes back to discuss the two initial theses.
    This concluding chapter presents a transversal reading of some key elements of Mediterranean agriculture and its pathways of transformation, in part under the lens of main theoretical paradigms, where, as the first section discuss, it has had a peripheral character. In this regard, the chapter tackles the impure nature (where allegedly productivist and nonproductivist dynamics coalesce) of some agricultural pathways, at both the farm and the territorial levels. As it is discussed later, this relates to the role played by policies and the way Mediterranean decision-makers mediate EU regulations. Subsequently, three interwoven dimensions of the recent evolution of Mediterranean agriculture are analysed: the dynamics of family farming and the role played by family networks, the position of migrants in the evolution of agriculture and some hypothesis and clues about the implications of the current economic crisis for Southern farming systems. In the two last sections, the chapter ends discussing the theoretical and policy challenges posed by Mediterranean small-scale farming systems.
    This paper describes the development, functioning and governance of quality assurance schemes for olive oil in three cooperative organizations. Two questions are addressed: first, how the construction of new quality schemes by cooperatives can lead to the fragmentation of the membership base, and hence the need for new institutional arrangements; and second, how the development of such schemes alters the interdependencies between parties (cooperative organization and its members), and how this is governed. The comparative analysis shows the relevance of the social and cultural contexts in shaping the mechanisms of governance, as well contributing to the policy debate in the European Union regarding new food quality schemes.
    Agricultural statistics performed in Europe show the persistence and strength of the processes of concentration, capitalization and intensification of farms in the last years. Remarkably, these patterns of change appear to be compatible with the persistence of family farms. One of the elements enabling family farms to advance along these pathways of growth has been the transformation of their organizational forms. Thus, the spread of partnership arrangements involving several related families have been registered in several OECD countries. This paper pursues a twofold objective: On the one hand, to analyze the farm structural dynamics at the micro-level in a study area specialized in an intensive agricultural system such as horticulture. This purpose makes it necessary to develop an analytical scheme in order to capture the diversity of individual farms' trajectories and to reduce it to a limited number of categories of structural change. On the other hand, we aim to shed light on the relationship between some family characteristics and the farm structural dynamics, paying particular attention to the existence of multifamily partnerships. The primary data for this research was provided by a survey of 135 farmers. A combination of Multiple Correspondence Analysis and a K-means clustering was performed to obtain a farm typology upon the base of both farms' 'static' characteristics and their patterns of structural evolution. The results show that multifamily partnerships are widespread in the study zone, and have made it possible for farms to embark on more aggressive growth pathways.
    The region of Valencia has a marked territorial duality: an urbanised, populated and high-income coastal line, and mountain and depressed inland rural areas. This territorial duality also derives in a functional duality, so that market and regulation drivers seem to assign rural areas specific roles for the provision of raw materials, energy, water, and the like. One of the clearest examples can be found in the design and development of the Wing Energy Plan passed by the Regional Government in 2001, which designated areas for the installation of windmills. However, this regulation has resulted in an outstanding emergence of associations that have organised at several levels (from the local to the national) as a strong opposition movement to the local developments of the Plan.With this background, the objective of this paper is to analyze, from a set of case studies, the processes of emergence and the evolution of collective actors (associations) which have been arising in many rural areas as a response to the local applications of the Wind Energy Plan. Attention will be paid to understand the tactics used, the process of adaptation to the participation mechanisms, and the role played by local and non-local networks.
    With this paper we aim to analyse how new entrepreneurial strategies are emerging in the field of agricultural cooperatives within the Region of Valencia (Spain), and how these strategies are characterised through the lens of the agrarian-based rural development model. Initial results show that these strategies have the potential to strengthen the role of cooperatives in rural economic development as they add value to specific territorial resources, create new ties with other local and nonlocal actors, and diversify the economy of rural areas. Nevertheless, the cooperative (collective) nature of these organisations can also create decision-making and investment problems, as they can divide the interests of their social base.
    Ce rapport de recherche propose une analyse croisée des processus d'émergence des territoires ruraux dans les pays du pourtour méditerranéen. La contribution d'équipes de recherche de 10 pays permet une analyse originale qui mobilise des approches nationales et des études de terrain issues de l'ensemble de ces pays. Les questions des formes de gouvernance, de décentralisation ou encore les trajectoires de développement sont mises en perspective.
    The objective of this paper is to analyse the process of adjustment for arable crop farms on the inland plains of Spain from the early 1990s, as well as the implications of this adjustment in terms of multifunctionality. This paper first aims, through farm-level analysis, to break down the process of adjustment by isolating the main stylised facts. The second aim of this paper is to re-construct the process around three elements: policies, technology and its relationships with the surrounding rural setting. Results from the research show that the impact of policies stems not only from the level of support, but also from the specific tools through which this support operates and their effects over land tenancy regimes. Technological change has played a key role during the process, since the search for economies of scale is one of the driving forces for farmers who are expanding in an effort to overcome the price/cost squeeze. In addition, structural adjustment has had implications on the "territorial integration" of this agriculture, as well as on its environmental effects.
    Property rights constitute a basic pillar of public regulation of natural resources management, as well as one of the central elements of current debates on rural change. The objective of this paper is to analyse, through the concept of property rights, the incidence of the integration of environmental issues within some of the main public regulations of rural land use. With this aim, the paper firstly tackles the theoretical foundations of the concept of property rights, with special attention to their linkage to the problem of environmental externalities, and their treatment in the relation between agriculture and the environment. Secondly, the paper analyses the implications of several intervention instruments (payments for environmental services, direct regulations, and tradable permits) in terms of property rights. Results show how the landowners' property rights is altered by the way these instruments are selected and applied, though this modification is actually more a consolidation of rights that an attenuation. In this way, land acquires a nature of environmental property, where new property rights are capitalized, and new business opportunities emerge for their holders.
    Property rights constitute a basic pillar of public regulation of natural resources management, as well as one of the central elements of current debates on rural change. The objective of this paper is to analyse, through the concept of property rights, the incidence of the integration of environmental issues within some of the main public regulations of rural land use. With this aim, the paper firstly tackles the theoretical foundations of the concept of property rights, with special attention to their linkage to the problem of environmental externalities, and their treatment in the relation between agriculture and the environment. Secondly, the paper analyses the implications of several intervention instruments (payments for environmental services, direct regulations, and tradable permits) in terms of property rights. Results show how the landowners’ property rights is altered by the way these instruments are selected and applied, though this modification is actually more a consolidation of rights that an attenuation. In this way, land acquires a nature of environmental property, where new property rights are capitalized, and new business opportunities emerge for their holders. Los derechos de propiedad son uno de los pilares básicos de la regulación pública de la gestión de los recursos naturales, además de constituir uno de los elementos centrales de los debates actuales sobre cambio rural. El objetivo de este artículo es analizar, a través del concepto de derecho de propiedad, la incidencia que tiene la integración de las cuestiones ambientales en algunas de las principales regulaciones públicas de los usos del suelo rural. Para ello, en primer lugar se abordan los fundamentos teóricos del concepto de derechos de propiedad, con especial énfasis a su vinculación con el problema de las externalidades ambientales y su tratamiento en la relación entre agricultura y medio ambiente. En segundo lugar, se analizan las implicaciones que el empleo de distintos instrumentos de intervención (pagos por servicios ambientales, regulaciones directas y permisos negociables) tiene en términos de derechos de propiedad. Los resultados muestran cómo la forma en que se seleccionan y aplican estos instrumentos está alterando la estructura de los derechos de propiedad de los titulares de la tierra, más en el sentido de consolidarlos que de atenuarlos. De esta forma, la tierra adquiere un carácter de propiedad ambiental en la que se concede una dimensión patrimonial a nuevos derechos de propiedad, a la vez que se abren nuevas oportunidades de negocio para sus titulares.
    European agriculture is undergoing major institutional changes, which are of great relevance to our understanding of the role of agriculture in rural development. They are also taking place in contexts in which agricultural development seems to be continuing within the traditional modernisation paradigm. This is the case for agriculture in Spain. The authors develop a theoretical scheme based on the concepts of institutional transactions and institutional arrangements which may be relevant across a variety of contexts. This approach is applied through an analysis of Spanish agriculture, concentrating on (a) changes introduced through the regulation of the environmental impacts of agriculture, (b) new schemes for the control of food quality and altered relations in the food-marketing chains, and (c) shifts deriving from changes to the major support mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Spanish agriculture is becoming increasingly embedded in the food-production process, and this is associated with a dissipation of property rights from the production sector. The analysis illustrates the usefulness of the approach, although identification of the specific nature of some institutional transactions remains uncertain. Applications in other countries and at more local levels will facilitate regional and international comparisons of the restructuring processes underway in differing contexts.
    La política agroambiental de la Unión Europea ha supuesto, a pesar de su lento desarrollo y de las múltiples cuestiones operativas y conceptuales que han de resolverse en el futuro, una nueva forma de intervención pública en el sector agrario. Su aplicación aún parcial -y minoritaria en el caso de España- hace que los efectos que pueda tener sobre el medio rural dependan de cuál vaya a ser su papel en la futura Política Agraria Común. En este sentido, la ampliación del concepto de política agroambiental a toda aquélla que actúe sobre las implicaciones ambientales de la agricultura (dando cabida a la ecocondicionalidad y a las políticas ambientales de tipo «punitivo») permite aventurar la disociación de dos grandes modelos de agricultura europea que se diferenciarán, fundamentalmente, en su grado de independencia del soporte comunitario y en la acción pública sobre dichas implicaciones ambientales. Los principales efectos rurales de la política agroambiental se podrían generar entonces en los grandes sistemas agrarios europeos, altamente dependientes de la cobertura de una PAC que apunta hacia una mayor «agroambientalización» del soporte público.
    RESUMEN: La economía del agua en España se encuentra en una fase de cambio institucional, cuyo desarrollo va a estar fuertemente condicionado por la estructura de los derechos de propiedad sobre el agua. Esta estructura, en un contexto como el de la agricultura de regadío, está caracterizada por un complejo entramado de instituciones informales y percepciones de los propios regantes. El objetivo del artículo es caracterizar dichos derechos de propiedad -mediante una desagregación previa de su contenido- en el ámbito de las Comunidades de Regantes del Guadalquivir, con la finalidad de analizar cómo pueden desarrollarse las nuevas instituciones en dicho contexto. Los resultados, basados tanto en el análisis de las instituciones formales como en las opiniones de los regantes, ponen de manifiesto la falta de adecuación del cambio institucional a las demandas de los regantes, así como los obstáculos que la estructura de los derechos de propiedad puede presentar al mismo. SUMMARY: The Spanish water economy is within a process of institutional change. The development of this change will be strongly conditioned by the water property rights structure, and this structure -in the context of irrigated agriculture- is defined by a complex net of informal institutions and farmers' perceptions. The objective of the article is to characterise these property rights -through previous desegregation of its content- in the context of Irrigation Districts of the Guadalquivir basin, in order to analyse how the new institutions could be performed in this environment. Results, based in both the analysis of formal institutions and farmers' opinion, show (i) the lack of adaptation of new institutions to farmers' demands, and (ii) some characteristics of the property rights structure which could hinder the institutional change.
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