Transition of food systems


April 22nd 2021

The pursuit of agroecological principles by Flemish beef farmers : advancing towards a body of thought for sustainable food systems

The thesis of Louis Tessier based on the Flemish beef sector. Is agroecology an option in this context ?


The Flemish beef sector faces growing economic uncertainty and societal criticisms. Agroecology is regularly proposed as an alternative development pathway, yet what this exactly means in this context is largely unexplored. This doctoral research aimed at investigating the relevance of agroecology to beef farming in Flanders. By gathering and analyzing data from a diverse group of Flemish beef farmers with both qualitative and quantitative methods, this dissertation renders agroecology as a practice more concrete conceptually in this context. The analysis of these farmers accounts also served to lay bare important ambiguities and inadequacies within agroecological thought with regard to the transformative potential of these agroecological practices, farmers, and the systems they construct. Out of this dialogue between agroecology and farmers thus emerged a more general societal reflection that advances contemporary ideas and practices to transform food systems

A PhD thesis presentation is available here (video 44 min)