In terms of sustainability, the effects of the development of organic farming are subject to debate, particularly regarding the methods used to compare organic and conventional food systems and the consequences of the conventionalization of organic farming. We propose an empirical study centered on the stage of food retailing and based on two sales databases in France in 2012, one involving conventional food retailing and the other involving specialized organic stores. We examine sustainability from the plant, animal or combined origin of food products and from their degree of processing. The results suggest that sales of organic food products are more plant-based and less processed than sales of conventional products, two criteria for better sustainability. They also show that organic sales in specialized organic stores are more sustainable than those in conventional retail stores according to the same criteria. In addition, the sales structure of organic products in conventional retail stores is very specific. Finally, the average structure of purchases in specialized organic stores is more plant-based and less processed than total food purchases of large buyers of organic products in conventional retail stores, themselves more plant-based and less processed than those of small buyers.
sustainable diets; organic farming; retail channel; conventionalization; food environment;
- C81: Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data • Data Access
- D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Marion Desquilbet, Elise Maigné, and Sylvette Monier-Dilhan, “Organic food retailing and the conventionalization debate”, TSE Working Paper, n. 17-778, March 2017, revised March 2018.
Marion Desquilbet, Elise Maigné, and Sylvette Monier-Dilhan, “Organic food retailing and the conventionalisation debate”, Ecological Economics, vol. 150, August 2018, pp. 194–203.