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Livestock farmers’ working conditions in agroecological farming systems. A review
Agronomy for Sustainable Development  (IF5.832),  Pub Date : 2021-03-17, DOI: 10.1007/s13593-021-00679-y
Julie Duval, Sylvie Cournut, Nathalie Hostiou

The livestock farming sector is under stress as fewer and fewer people are willing or able to become livestock farmers. Contributing to the decline in attractiveness of the profession are, among other factors, agricultural crises, higher consumer expectations, and difficult working conditions. Agroecology is a sustainable solution that can maintain livestock production and provide positive contributions to society without negatively affecting the environment. Moreover, in its search for social sustainability, agroecological farming could offer better working conditions to farmers and thus contribute to a sustainable future for the livestock farming sector. Here, we review research on livestock farmers’ working conditions in agroecological farming systems. This paper aims to give a comprehensive overview of the available research findings and the dimensions used to describe farmers’ working conditions. The major findings are the following: (i) relatively little published research is available; (ii) it is difficult to compare findings across studies as different dimensions are used to study working conditions and, in certain cases, detailed descriptions of the farming systems are not provided; (iii) certain dimensions were rarely addressed, such as farmers’ health, or work organization; and (iv) in general, farmers’ work is addressed as a component of environmental and economic analyses of the performance of agroecological livestock farming systems, using most often indicators on labor productivity and/or efficiency. Comprehensive multidimensional approaches to study working conditions are lacking, as are studies on the interactions and trade-offs between dimensions (e.g., workload, fulfillment, work organization). To study livestock farmers’ working conditions in agroecological farming systems, we recommend to use a comprehensive approach assessing different dimensions contributing to working conditions, combined with the description of farmers’ activities and work environment.