Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Assessing sustainability at farm level .-current status and perspectives

This article provides an overview of the research that has so far been carried out to assess the level of sustainability of Swiss farms. The presented methods were analysed with the aid of defined criteria to examine if they serve the aim of assessing the sustainability of farms on a broad basis. The analysis shows that the two major methods of sustainability assessment in the agricultural sector at micro-level (FAT sustainability indicator and RISE method) meet the majority of the defined criteria but are not necessarily suitable to carry out a large-scale survey. An assessment on a large basis and at low costs would require methodological development. The crucial requirement is that the developed method is able to indicate if the farm has achieved the highest possible contribution to sustainability.

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