The need for sustainable agricultural production is generally accepted, and it is increasingly investigated. However, although much has been written about the socio?economic causes of problems with sustainability and the policies needed to overcome them, this has generally been from the viewpoint of the farmer and/or government (FAO, 1991). There has been no assessment of sustainability problems and needs from of the perspective of the marketing system. What is the optimal match between marketing system and sustainability in agriculture ? This study is a first attempt to consider the question of sustainability of agricultural systems from a marketing system perspective. A stable commercial relationship between farmer and enterprise may be an economic incentive for investments in the productive natural resource. Aim To elucidate the contribution of different marketing arrangements on the sustainability of production systems under different conditioning environments. The performance of certain marketing systems may be driven to obtain sustainable effects on the farmer's use of resources. Research A conceptual framework is proposed. Different methods are used to assess and validate the stated hypotheses. Firstly, a positive model approach relates sustainability to physical (e.g. land slope), personal (e.g. attitudes), economic (e.g. income), and institutional (e.g. marketing) factors. Secondly, a normative model approach includes sustainability, but also other goals such as profitability, risk avoidance, and income distribution. The simulation optimizes multiple objectives under different marketing scenarios. Preliminary findings confirm that farmers more integrated to the market are adopters of sustainable technology. Conversely, farmers facing market imperfections do not make an appropriate use of the land. Market imperfections such as transport and communications handicaps, high interests of commercial loans, or ambiguity of input and output prices, can result in sub-optiomal managements of the natural resource.