Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Conventionalization Hypothesis

  • Henning Best
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_437-1


Organic farming developed rapidly during the 1980s. By the late 1990, some researchers argued that the growth of organic farming had, in spite of its numerous positive consequences, started to lead to undesirable consequences as well (Buck et al. 1997). These consequences were associated with efforts to incorporate structural elements of conventional agriculture. Scholars worried that in doing so organic farming would change and ultimately lose its alternative character.

Traditional organic agriculture was embedded in a social movement and was even associated with overcoming some traits of capitalist food production, for instance, by emphasizing the social relationship between producer and consumer (decommodification). In contrast Buck et al. (1997) expect the new organic agriculture to be restructured in accordance with the economic imperatives of commodity production. As they put it, agribusiness is entering the field and “finding ways to industrialize organic...


Organic Farming Farm Size Organic Sector Commodity Chain Organic Farming Practice 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesMannheimGermany