Towards a better measurement of the social sustainability of Irish agriculture

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Brennan, Mary
Hennessy, Thia
Dillon, Emma
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There exists a need to analyse and develop the social aspects of agricultural sustainability. Distinct gaps between agricultural policy priorities and the data infrastructure needed to develop metrics for policy evaluation at farm level exist, particularly regarding the social dimension of sustainability. This paper aims to examine the current social sustainability frameworks in operation across Europe and beyond, with a view towards expansion using Irish Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data from the Teagasc National Farm Survey. A stakeholder consultation process, featuring policymakers, farm data recorders, academic researchers amongst others, highlighted pertinent concerns regarding the social sustainability of agriculture. Issues such as farmer stress, work/life balance, generational renewal and the viability of rural areas featured as priority concerns. Issues such as these have been identified as key areas of concern within the new common agricultural policy which supports the continued development of specific indicators of social sustainability.
Agricultural sustainability , Farmer wellbeing , Generational renewal , Mixed methods research , Rural isolation , Rural viability , Social sustainability , Stakeholder consultation , Sustainability indicators , Sustainable development
Brennan, M., Hennessy, T. and Dillon, E. (2020) 'Towards a better measurement of the social sustainability of Irish agriculture', International Journal of Sustainable Development, 23(3-4), pp. 263-287. doi: 10.1504/IJSD.2020.115229
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