Resource use in a low-input organic vegetable food supply system in UK - a case study

Hanne Østergård, Mads V. Markussen, Michal Kulak, Thomas Nemecek, Laurence Smith

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The sustainability of a small-scale low-input organic vegetable farm in United Kingdom with high crop diversity and a related box scheme food supply system was assessed by emergy evaluation, an environmental accounting method based on the direct and indirect use of solar equivalent joules. The main questions for this study were how much the considered system contributes to society by taking advantage of local renewable flows, and how much it depends on input from society. By understanding the dynamics of this system we contribute to bridging the gap between practice and scientific knowledge. Our study is an example of how systems today need to take advantage of current cheap energy to avoid getting out-competed, while at the same time maintaining autonomy and freedom of action should any of the large scale systems supplying transport, money, energy or labour fail.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference 'Building Organic Bridges' : At the Organic World Congress 2014
EditorsG. Rahmann, U. Aksoy
Number of pages4
Publication date2014
Article number24083
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event18th IFOAM Organic World Congress - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 13 Oct 201415 Oct 2014


Conference18th IFOAM Organic World Congress
Internet address


  • Vegetables
  • Emergy
  • Box scheme
  • Supermarket
  • Food supply


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