Affordable Access

Development trajectories of mountain dairy farms in the globalization era. Evidence from the Vercors (French Northern Alps)

  • Madelrieux, S.
  • Terrier, M.
  • Borg, D.
  • Dobremez, L.
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2014
External links


The maintenance of dairy production in mountain areas pose a real challenge in a context of globalization, particularly in France where milk quotas are about to be dismantled. Although acknowledged and sustained for its multifunctionality, European mountain agriculture has significant natural constraints to contend with and cannot follow the same paths of development as in the plains (specialization, enlargement, industrial organization of labour). Mountain dairy farms have thus had to develop their own specific responses. The goals of this study are: (i) to analyze the recent changes in mountain dairy farming in the Vercors (Alpine uplands under residential and tourist dynamics); (ii) to characterize the diversity of farming system development trajectories; and (iii) to discuss the different responses adopted by dairy farmers to last over time, which are not based on the same adaptive resources. We thus developed an analytical framework that allows us to link evolutions in livestock farming systems and family-farm organizations, via a multi-phase process where each phase of investigation provides more finely grained detail. The process consists in analyzing individual data from: i) national census of agriculture (1988, 2000, 2010) to capture general trends and analyze family-farm trajectories between 2000 and 2010 on 68 dairy farms; ii) semi-directive on-farm interviews (n = 33), to analyze the long term processes of change beyond the family-farm trajectories.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times