Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Organic and Conventional Farming: a Comparison Analysis through the Italian FADN

Cisilino, Federica and Madau, Fabio A. (2007): Organic and Conventional Farming: a Comparison Analysis through the Italian FADN. Published in: Proceedings of the I Mediterranean Conference of Agro-Food Social Scientists. 103rd EAAE Seminar ‘Adding Value to the Agro-Food Supply Chain in the Future Euromediterranean Space’. Barcelona, Spain, April 23rd - 25th, 2007 (CD-ROM) : pp. 1-22.


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This paper shows some results arisen from a wider research on economic and environmental sustainability of organic farming. It focuses on organic and conventional farming comparison through an investigation of Italian FADN data. In order to identify some of the main differences between organic and conventional farms a “distance analysis” has been carried out. The study aims to highlight some of the main characteristics of those two groups of farms to better address differences (if any) in production technology, costs and revenues. Furthermore it shows the findings of a non-parametric efficiency analysis on the Italian olive-growing farms. The purpose is to estimate difference in efficiency and productivity between organic and conventional olive producers. Results reveal that looking at the average values on Invested Areas, conventional farms’ Gross Production is significantly higher than the organic ones, as the Net Margin, as the Net Product and Costs. The average values on Total Labour Force instead, shown that, even if conventional farms still have higher values than organic ones, the “distance” become shorter. That means that the two groups are quite similar and that, even if organic farms still produce a lower “economic value”, they better compensate productive factors, especially in terms of Labour Force. Regards to efficiency analysis, we found that organic olive-growing farms are more able in using their disposable resources (with reference to their own frontier), and the higher efficiency permits them to compensate the lower productivity with respect to the conventional farms.

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