Farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience: a focus on cooperative action and values-based supply chains
This paper presents a critical discussion of the concepts of farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience, which are typically discussed separately in the literature. While farm-level viability frequently focuses on measurable economic factors, sustainability is comparatively more elusive because of its added social, cultural and ecological dimensions. Resilience, in turn, is unambiguous in the sense that it requires particular conditions, but is achieved in dynamic ways. A traditional resilience strategy in agriculture globally is co-operative action, involving farmers working together to enhance their viability and sustainability, often achieving resilience. We draw attention to agricultural development models that are distinctive because they leverage co-operative action in and between family farms in agricultural communities while pursuing integrated viability, sustainability and resilience strategies. We focus on the prospect of such rural development models, particularly a values-based supply chain approach, and identify crucial considerations and future research needs.