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Global Food Security
Volume 28, 2021, 100487

Moving beyond organic – A food system approach to assessing sustainable and resilient farming

Elin Roosa, Bojana Bajzelja, Charlotte Weilb, Erik Anderssonc,e, Deborah Bossiod, Line J. Gordonc

Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7032, SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden.


Organic farming aims to minimize negative impacts on the local environment, but its contributions to global food sustainability also depend on a resilient food supply. We studied a farm aiming to move beyond organic and become “a sustainable farm of the future”, in the farmer’s own words. This meant going beyond local impacts to consider how the farm could contribute to global food security by transitioning to production of more crops for direct human consumption. Over a five-year period (2015–2019), the farm improved on the food security and resilience indicators included in the assessment (e.g., number of persons fed per hectare, diversity of products, and connections), while producing food at greenhouse gas intensity similar to regional averages. This approach of including global food security aspects along with environmental efficiency and resilience in farm-level sustainability assessments provides a way for farmers to engage as globally responsible biosphere stewards.

Keywords: Climate impact, Diversity, Food production, Efficiency, Biosphere steward.

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