International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)


What role do values and norms play in the transformation of our agricultural and food system? This question is the focus of the ÖKO-Valuation project. The interdisciplinary research project is a cooperation between the Universities of Hohenheim and Tübingen and the Stuttgart-based agency Ökonsult in the model organic regions Enzkreis and Heidenheim plus. Together with local actors, we want to investigate whether and how understanding of ethical issues can strengthen organic farming.

Project description

The starting point of the project is the current social debate on the future of agriculture, symbolised by the icons 'bee' and 'green cross'. In terms of content, the controversy revolves around the question of how food production can become more ecological without endangering the livelihoods of farmers. The debate is emotionally charged and often characterised by indignation and mutual incomprehension. Such conflicts cannot be solved by mere fact-centred communication. Rather, the needs, interests and moral conceptions of all those involved in the underlying conflicts must be explicitly addressed. This is where the research project comes in. It wants to facilitate the understanding of values and norms in various event and participation formats, so that they can be made fruitful for pragmatic cooperation.