Articles in Category: Publications & Resources

PT | New issue of the journal "O Segredo da Terra" dedicated to communication in the organic farming sector

Publications & Resources
New issue of the journal

The Portuguese journal "O Segredo da Terra", specialized in organic farming, as just issued a new number (35) dedicated to communication in the organic sector. This issue includes the papers presented in the Seminar recently held at the University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Portugal, jointly organized by the Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies, Edibio and the Portuguese Horticulture Association. The first article presents the major conclusions of this Seminar, written by Ana Alexandra Costa, Isabel Mourão and Artur Cristóvão.  

PT | Agri-food Traditional Products: From Certification to the Market - Portuguese recent evolution

Publications & Resources

(EC) Regulations 2081/92 and 2082/92, replaced by Council Regulations (EC) 510/2006 and 509/2006, respectively, are an important contribution to establishing the foundations of European Policy on agri-food quality. They include the protection of agricultural as well as food product designations at European level, particularly those which bear a close relationship with their production area and which, due to their geographical origin and/or specific modes of production, present distinctive characteristics. Under those regulations a thousand designations are estimated to be protected within the European Union, of which about eight hundred are regularly present in the markets, accounting for a 14.2 billion Euro turnover. Portugal alone has 120 protected designations (15% of all European designations) which originate a seventy million Euro turnover (0.5% of the turnover generated by the PDO/PGI at European level). Fifteen years after the first PDO/PGI products have appeared on the national market, we believe it is important to look into the state of the art of these products in Portugal. The main goal of the present paper is to provide an overall view on the main trends of the PDO/PGI products sector at national level. The methodology used consists of a descriptive analysis of a set of specific indicators regarding three main variables: Production; Prices and Commercialization. Globally, this type of products is not very commercially widespread, despite the positive sustained evolution registered by some. As a rule these products have a poor productive dimension, which in a way may explain the lack of internationalization of the sector.

Key-words: Portugal, Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication, policies, market, consumers, perceptions and preferences.

PT | Methods and Procedures for Building Sustainable Farming Systems

Publications & Resources
Methods and Procedures for Building Sustainable Farming Systems

This urgent publication surveys the latest research and methodologies combining efficiency in agricultural food production with sustainability in the same systems. Growing pressures on food production seem contrapuntal to the ever-stronger imperatives of sustainability. How can agriculture balance successes in both productivity and ecology? Sustainability is a dynamic concept, seeking to achieve a balance—in space and time—of environmental, economic and social factors. Thus, farming systems are faced with contradictory demands for success: economic performance and social equity have to be maximized, while the environment and its natural resources need to be protected.


Showing how the method of sustainability assessment plays a key role in choosing the best agricultural productive mode, this book guides the reader through the process of selecting, from among the various approaches for building farming systems, the method of decision-making that will result in the most appropriate outcome, given the context. Case studies hail from polities as diverse as Portugal and Canada, Argentina and Lebanon. The work thus offers a valuable critical survey of the assessment methods that account for sustainability and economics, and which have developed considerably in the last two decades. The heterogeneous approaches covered here make this volume appropriate for consultation in a wide variety of social, political and geographical contexts.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Agriculture environment Decision support methods Sustainability assessment methodologies Sustainability farming assessment Sustainable farming systems

Related subjects » Agricultural Economics Agriculture Operations Research & Decision Theory Sustainable Development

PT | NEW BOOK: Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic

Publications & Resources
NEW BOOK: Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic


Farming Systems Research has three core characteristics: it builds on systems thinking, it depends on the close collaboration between social and biophysical sciences, and it relies on participation to build co-learning processes. Farming Systems Research posits that to contribute towards sustainable rural development, both interdisciplinary collaborations and local actor engagement are needed. Together, they allow for changes in understanding and changes in practices.
This book gives an overview of the insights generated in 20 years of Farming Systems Research. It retraces the emergence and development of Farming Systems Research in Europe, summarises the state-of-the-art for key areas, and provides an outlook on new explorations, especially those tackling the dynamic nature of farming systems and their interaction with the natural environment and the context of action.
We hope this book will serve as an inspiration for all those who seek an alternative approach to research in farming and rural development. One that builds on the reflexivity of researchers, one that takes the role of human subjectivities and perceptions seriously, one that gives voice to farmers, one that emphasises participation and co-learning processes, one that focuses on interactions between the elements, one that allows to capture interdependencies and their dynamics.
There is no doubt that Farming Systems Research has much to offer to answer the challenges faced by rural areas in the current turbulent and uncertain times. The book is thus aimed at practitioners, at graduate students and at researchers who seek new inspiration outside the mainstream, who take into account the ethical dimension of their work, and who seek encouragement to deepen their reflexivity about the meaning of professional practice and about their approach to research.


PT | La Innovacion en el sector Agroalimentario Euroregional Galicia-Norte de Portugal

Publications & Resources
La Innovacion en el sector Agroalimentario Euroregional Galicia-Norte de Portugal

Esta publicaçõa apresenta os resultados de um trabalho de investigação euroregional, numa perspectiva multidisciplinar, realizado no ambito do Projecto REAL, financiado pelo POCTEP. Com esta publicação atingem-se dois objectivos, permite-se conhecer a actual oferta tecnológica no sector agro-alimentar e, por outro lado, evidenciar quals são as linhas de investigação que actualmente são identificadas pelas empresas agri-alimentares como prioritárias. 

PT | Quality: A multi and interdisciplinary perspective

Publications & Resources
Quality: A multi and interdisciplinary perspective

The Journal TMQ QUALIDADE, Number 2, 2011, published in Portugal by SÍLABO Editions has just issued a number on "Quality: A multi and interdisciplinary perspective". This number, edited by Raquel Lucas, Margarida Saraiva and Álvaro Rosa, includes a selection of articles on quality agrifood products form Argentina, Portugal and Spain.  Manuel Luís Tibério and Artur Cristóvão, members or ERG SYAL,  contributed with an article on "Qualified traditional agrifood products: quality definition in actor networks".