933316 Organic farming and regional development

Project course
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Vogl, Christian R.
Division of Organic Farming (IFÖL)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2018
Languages of instruction


We will work in groups on following topics:

*Main streaming Food Sovereignty in Austria
Food Sovereignty is a concept which was developed and presented by Via Campesina in 1996 as an alternative to neoliberal policies. At the centre of decisions on food systems are put the individuals who produce, distribute and consume food. Food sovereignty is the peoples', Countries’ or State Unions' right to define their agricultural and food policy.

*Geographical Indications in Europe and their relation to Organic Farming
A Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products. It may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin. Three categories of GIs exist: Protected Designation of Origin (geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung), Protected Geographical Indication (geschützte geografische Angabe) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (garantiert traditionelle Spezialität). Examples in Austria are: Wachauer Marille (PDO), Tiroler Speck (PGI) and Heumilch (TSG).

*Endogenous development in Cuba
Endogenous development is a concept where the regional development is primarily the result of endogenous and not external forces. The endogenous development bases on the potentials within the region and is mainly knowledge driven and based.

*Transaction costs and feasibility analysis of establishing a CSA in Austria based on a concrete example
CSA-Community Supported Agriculture is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A network or association of individuals pledge to support one or more local farms. Producers and consumers thus share the risks and benefits of food production.

*Transaction costs of developing a Food Coop – comparison between urban and rural settings
A Food Cooperative or Food Coop is usually a consumers' cooperative where decisions regarding production and distribution of food is chosen by its members.
Examples in Austria: Bioparadeis, Möhrengasse (Vienna), Salzkörndl (Salzburg)

*Participatory Research in Austria - Evaluating selected projects
Participatory Research is part of Qualitative Research. Participatory research methods are geared towards planning and conducting the research process with those people whose life-world and meaningful actions are under study. Consequently, this means that the aim of the inquiry and the research questions develop out of the convergence of two perspectives—that of science and of practice.


Previous knowledge expected

We suggest that you bring basic knowledge about organic agriculture and enthusiasm for the topic - then it will be an interesting and successful project course!
Commitment we expect of the students:
* High interest in the subject of the course
* Regular attendance
* Active participation, engagement & willingness to work in a team
* Capability to self-organization within the group with methods of project management
* Write up and present a final report of the project and its results


Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

* Learn and understand different concepts within the context of alternative food systems (e.g. food-coops, CSA, civic food networks, food sovereignty)
* Gain insight into the interaction between organic farming and regional development
* Analyze alternatives for a more sustainable food system by investigating practical examples
* Learn and apply scientific and project-oriented working methods

You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.