Because of its complex, multi-dimensional nature, agricultural sustainability is most often assessed using numerous indicators, which make aggregate comparisons among different production systems difficult. In this paper we propose a methodology that could be beneficial in aggregate sustainability assessment. We apply the method of conjoint analysis to select economic, social, and ecological attributes that are perceived as important for agricultural sustainability by different stakeholders and to assess their relative impact on the overall sustainability measure. Our method presents a flexible framework which could be adopted for a variety of specific applications and allows drawing comparisons among various stakeholder groups based on how they perceive agricultural sustainability.
- conjoint analysis; choice experiments; sustainability assessment; stakeholders