Taking up organic farming in (pre-)Alpine Slovenia: Contrasting motivations of dairy farmers from less-favoured agricultural areas

  • Alenka Bartulović University of Ljubljana
  • Miha Kozorog University of Ljubljana
Keywords: organic farming, dairy farming, conversion process, collective vs. individual conversion, (pre-)Alpine Slovenia, Common Agricultural Policy


This article discusses the motivations that have prompted a selected group of dairy farmers to transition from conventional to organic farming. Two locations in (pre-)Alpine Slovenia, both exhibiting less-favoured conditions for agriculture, were ethnographically studied. This article juxtaposes two different processes of conversion to organic farming: one taking place in the village of Čadrg, where farmers had taken up organic farming collectively before Slovenia entered the EU in 2004, and other in Škofja Loka Mountains, where farmers had individually gone into conversion after accession to the EU. The comparison indicates diverse circumstances of conversion in the same national context and illustrates differences and similarities in personal motivations as well structural conditions for conversion. The authors agree that a complex entanglement of factors influence farmers’ adoption of organic farming. Nevertheless, the comparison suggests an essential difference between individual and collective conversion to the organic mode of agricultural production.