CONVENTIONALIZATION, BIFURCATION, AND QUALITY OF LIFE: CERTIFIED AND NON-CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARMERS IN TEXAS
Constance, Douglas H.
Choi, Jin Young
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Organic agriculture has been advanced as a production system that improves environmental quality and supports rural community development. Recent developments in organics have called into question both assertions. Researchers have argued that the advent of national-level organic standards has contributed to the conventionalization and bifurcation of organics. Conventionalization refers to the process by which organic agriculture increasingly takes on the characteristics of mainstream industrial agriculture. Bifurcation refers to the process by which the organic agriculture adopts a dual-structure of smaller, lifestyle-oriented producers and larger, industrial-scale producers. This research examines the conventionalization and bifurcation theses through a comparison of certified organic and non-certified organic producers in Texas. We conclude that the case of organics in Texas provides mixed support for the conventionalization thesis.