Resilience is one of the three core properties of social‐ecological systems, mixing adaptability and transformability. Flexibility can be defined in terms of diversity of procedures and the speed at which they can be mobilized by one organization. The analyses performed are presented in terms of levers that farmers can deploy to protect their management systems against market uncertainty. These levers differ depending on farmer standpoints, objectives, lessons learned, the collective organizations they work with, the standards and specifications they work to, etc. It is equally important to identify the interplays between overarching and underlying scale levels for the system studied and to hone in on the dynamics at work during periods of transition. Adaptive capacities of farm systems are closely linked to how the farmer perceives the situations to manage, according to his aims, to his behaviour face to risk and to his idea of what is his job. We propose to use different words to describe the properties of farming systems to cope with changes, according to the level within the system: “adaptive capacity” or “plasticity” for the animal level, “resilience” for the biotechnical level and “flexibility” for the whole system, including the manager. We think there is a real challenge working at each level on transition periods and processes, as farming systems will have more and more to adapt face to unpredic events.
Part of the book: Livestock Science