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Using a perception matrix to elicit farmers‘ perceptions towards stakeholders in the context of biodiversity-friendly farming

Scherfranz, V., Moon, K., Kantelhardt, J., Adler, A., Barreiro, S., Valentin Bodea, F., Bretagnolle, V., Brönnimann, V., Peter Reinier de Vries, J., Dos Santos, A., Ganz, M., M. Herrera, J., Hood, A. S. C. ORCID:, Leisch, F., Mauchline, A. L. ORCID:, Melts, I., Popa, R., María Rivera Girón, V., Ruck, A., Vajna, F. , Velado-Alonso, E. and Schaller, L. (2024) Using a perception matrix to elicit farmers‘ perceptions towards stakeholders in the context of biodiversity-friendly farming. Journal of Rural Studies, 108. 103282. ISSN 1873-1392

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2024.103282


Farmers' pro-environmental action is substantially influenced by various stakeholders from their business and social environment. Recent studies recommend actively involving influential stakeholders in agri-environmental initiatives, information or media campaigns. While it has been argued that farmers' perceptions towards these stakeholders can help inform effective involvement, comprehensive assessments of these perceptions remain scarce, particularly in the context of biodiversity-friendly farming. To understand and compare farmers’ perceptions of these stakeholder quantitatively, we developed and applied a perception matrix. In an exploratory survey with 49 farmers across ten European countries, farmers rated twelve groups of stakeholders (e.g. government bodies, farm advisors and input suppliers) against eight perception constructs (e.g. trustworthiness, interest in protecting biodiversity). We found that perceptions differed significantly both between groups of stakeholders and between constructs. Whereas several stakeholders were, on average, perceived positively regarding their general characteristics, such as trustworthiness, reliability, understanding and support for farming, perceptions regarding their biodiversity-related behavior were significantly more negative. Our findings indicate potential to improve policy development and implementation of agri-environmental initiatives through the involvement of multiple, non-governmental, agricultural and non-agricultural stakeholders in biodiversity-friendly farming initiatives across the entire agri-food value chain. Such multi-stakeholder initiatives could help to not only reinforce biodiversity conservation action among the farming community, but across society as a whole as emphasized by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Further research is needed to confirm the observed trends on a larger, representative sample, for which the presented perception matrix is well suited.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:116352


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