1st Edition

Sustainable Apple Breeding and Cultivation in Germany Commons-Based Agriculture and Social-Ecological Resilience

By Hendrik Wolter Copyright 2023
    292 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Applying a socio-ecological framework, this book explores how the innovative approach of commons-based organic apple breeding can contribute to sustainability in agricultural and food systems more widely.

    As fruit breeding and cultivation systems are confronted with a range of sustainability challenges, there are calls for new and innovative breeding approaches beyond mainstream economic solutions that would mitigate these sustainability challenges. Apples, in particular, are facing serious environmental challenges, with the negative environmental impacts of modern conventional breeding and farming, loss of agrobiodiversity, low participation and diminishing diversity of market actors in the wake of privatization and economization trends result in a lack of resilience in current breeding and cultivation systems. Drawing on in-depth case study research on apple production in Germany, this book advances the innovative solution of commons-based apple breeding as a model for developing resilience in fruit breeding and cultivation. It analyzes this approach, comparing it with more conventional practices, and showcases which factors could inhibit the broad implementation of commons-based apple breeding and how they can be overcome to exploit its full potential. Contributing to the great ambition of finding sustainable solutions across all agricultural sectors, this book opens up new and interdisciplinary perspectives on fruit breeding and cultivation, which is a largely neglected issue in contemporary discussions on agriculture and food production.

    This book will be of great interest for students and scholars from the fields of sustainable food systems, sustainable agriculture, crop science, and resource management and in particular those that seek inspiration for innovative approaches rooted in sustainability research, social-ecological resilience, and the commons.

    PART 1: Research Design and Empirical Context  1. Theoretical Framework: Resilience, Ecosystem Services, Commons  2. Methodological Framework: Qualitative Research in a Transdisciplinary Context  3. Empirical Context: Apple Breeding and Cultivation in Germany  PART 2: Resilience in Fruit Breeding and Cultivation  4. Fruit Breeding and Cultivation as a Social-ecological System  5. Ecosystem Services in Fruit Breeding and Cultivation  6. Characteristics of a Resilient Fruit Breeding and Cultivation System  PART 3: Evaluation of Apple Breeding Approaches: how resilient are they?  7. Corporate-based Apple Breeding  8. Public Apple Breeding  9. Commons-based Apple Breeding  10. Comparison of Apple Breeding Approaches  PART 4: Implementing Commons-based Organic Apple Breeding  11. Market Structures, Developments and Trends  12. Promoting and Inhibiting Factors for Organic Apple Cultivation and Breeding  13. Business Models for Financing Organic Apple Breeding  14. Challenges for Commons-based Organic Apple Breeding


    Hendrik Wolter is a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Law at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He holds a PhD in Social and Political Science and was involved in the transdisciplinary research project EGON (2017–2020), which examined commons-based organic apple breeding.