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Milestad, R., von Münchhausen, S., Kvam, G.-T. -. & Schermer, M. (2023). Managing growth in medium-sized organic businesses: Implications for local orientation and resilience building. Sociologia Ruralis, 63(1), 45-65
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing growth in medium-sized organic businesses: Implications for local orientation and resilience building
2023 (English)In: Sociologia Ruralis, ISSN 0038-0199, E-ISSN 1467-9523, Vol. 63, no 1, p. 45-65Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores how locally oriented organic businesses adapt to handle crises during a growth process to build resilience, how these businesses maintain the local orientation when growing and what the implications are for the relationship between territoriality and organic production. We explored four cases of organic businesses in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Austria. The cases can be described as Values-based Territorial Food Networks. All cases experienced challenges and crises during their growth processes and sought to provide stability and flexibility in order to deal with change. The restructuration process required internalising learning into their organisations, using diversity in a strategic way and forming long-term partnerships within their value chains. While organic certification was never at stake, the meaning of ‘local’ shifted in some of the cases. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley, 2023
Keywords
adaptive capacity, local food, organic value chains, resilience, Values-Based Territorial Food Networks, growth, learning, orientation, Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-325691 (URN)10.1111/soru.12393 (DOI)000827109500001 ()2-s2.0-85134050902 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20230412

Available from: 2023-04-12 Created: 2023-04-12 Last updated: 2023-04-12Bibliographically approved
Bergame, N., Borgström, S. & Milestad, R. (2022). Preparing the grounds for emancipation. Explaining commoning as an emancipatory mechanism through dialectical social theory. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1-20
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preparing the grounds for emancipation. Explaining commoning as an emancipatory mechanism through dialectical social theory
2022 (English)In: Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, ISSN 2514-8486, E-ISSN 2514-8494 , p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While there is evidence that commons have the potential to counteract socio-spatial injustices unleashed by neoliberal and capitalist forms of urbanisation, less is known about how commons lead to emancipatory change. Anchored in dialectical social theory, this article explains commoning as a mechanism through which people reproduce/transform their structural context and agency, arguing that the potential for emancipation through commoning lies in the commoners’ ability to induce processes of structural/agential transformation. Empirically grounded in interviews with urban community gardeners in the City of Stockholm, Sweden, we show that collective gardening conceptualised as practice of commoning contributes to structural change in that female volunteer labour collectivises the mandate over municipally managed public space, transforming socio-spatial relations. Yet, garden commoning proves to reproduce structural whiteness and middle-class agency in public space, fails to establish autonomy from waged-labour relations, and is unable to abolish the separation from the sources of reproduction and subsistence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications, 2022
National Category
Human Geography Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-311359 (URN)10.1177/25148486221092717 (DOI)000849094000001 ()2-s2.0-85138286471 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-00331
Note

QC 20220425

Available from: 2022-04-25 Created: 2022-04-25 Last updated: 2023-10-12Bibliographically approved
Katzeff, C., Milestad, R., Zapico, J. L. & Bohné, U. (2020). Encouraging organic food consumption through visualization of personal shopping data. Sustainability, 12(9), 3599
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Encouraging organic food consumption through visualization of personal shopping data
2020 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 9, p. 3599-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although food retailers have embraced organic certified food products as a way to reduce their environmental loading, organic sales only make up a small proportion of total sales worldwide. Most consumers have positive attitudes towards organic food, but attitudes are not reflected in behaviour. This article addresses consumers’ attitude–behaviour gap regarding their purchase of organic food and reports on how visualization of personal shopping data may encourage them to buy more organic food. Through the design of the visualization tool, the EcoPanel, and through an empirical study of its use, we provide evidence on the potential of the tool to promote sustainable food shopping practices. Of 65 users that tested the EcoPanel for five months, in-depth interviews were made with nine of these. The test users increased their purchase of organic food by 23%. The informants used the EcoPanel to reflect on their shopping behaviour and to increase their organic shopping. We conclude that the visualization of food purchases stimulates critical reflection and the formation of new food shopping practices. This implies that food retailers may increase sales of organic food through using a visualization tool available for their customers. In this way, these retailers may decrease their environmental impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel, Switzerland: MDPI, 2020
Keywords
Organic food; sustainable consumption; visualization; personal shopping data; reflection; feedback
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-272975 (URN)10.3390/su12093599 (DOI)000537476200098 ()2-s2.0-85085129713 (Scopus ID)
Projects
D2S - From Data to Sustainable Practices
Funder
Vinnova
Note

QC 20200505

Available from: 2020-05-04 Created: 2020-05-04 Last updated: 2022-06-26Bibliographically approved
van der Voorn, T., Svenfelt, Å., Edvardsson Björnberg, K., Fauré, E. & Milestad, R. (2020). Envisioning carbon-free land use futures for Sweden: a scenario study on conflicts and synergies between environmental policy goals. Regional Environmental Change, 20(2), Article ID 35.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Envisioning carbon-free land use futures for Sweden: a scenario study on conflicts and synergies between environmental policy goals
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2020 (English)In: Regional Environmental Change, ISSN 1436-3798, E-ISSN 1436-378X, Vol. 20, no 2, article id 35Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In climate change mitigation, backcasting scenarios are often used for exploring options for achieving a single environmental goal, albeit at the expense of other goals. This paper assesses potential conflicts and synergies between multiple environmental policy goals based on four future scenarios on Swedish rural land use, assuming zero GHG emissions in 2060. The assessment shows that goal conflicts are apparent, and policy makers need to make trade-offs between goals. The choice of strategy for dealing with these trade-offs yields conflicts or synergies. The assessment shows that a transition to zero GHG emissions provides opportunities for Sweden to shift to carbon free land-use planning. Overall, there are alternative ways with different underlying assumptions to achieve zero GHG emissions, which will feed discussions on new opportunities to overcome multi-scale and multi-sectoral goal conflicts. Multi-target backcasting scenarios are considered more suited to account for the multi-dimensional aspects of goal conflicts. This requires a comprehensive multi-target backcasting approach, which combines the strengths of multicriteria analysis, nexus approaches and backcasting, for supporting a transition to zero GHG emissions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2020
Keywords
Backcasting scenarios, Goal conflicts, Synergies, Climate change mitigation
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-271504 (URN)10.1007/s10113-020-01618-5 (DOI)000519139500001 ()2-s2.0-85081283981 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20200428

Available from: 2020-04-28 Created: 2020-04-28 Last updated: 2024-03-15Bibliographically approved
Perrin, A., San Cristobal, M., Milestad, R. & Martin, G. (2020). Identification of resilience factors of organic dairy cattle farms. Agricultural Systems, 183, Article ID UNSP 102875.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identification of resilience factors of organic dairy cattle farms
2020 (English)In: Agricultural Systems, ISSN 0308-521X, E-ISSN 1873-2267, Vol. 183, article id UNSP 102875Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Uncertain and changing agricultural contexts challenge the resilience of farms to disturbances. Organic farming has long been considered a niche practice and has provided farmers with a market that is more protected and regulated than that for conventional farming. However, the organic market is globalising, especially for the dairy sector. This globalisation exposes farms to higher volatility in organic milk price. Thus, identifying resilience factors for organic dairy farms is necessary to support farmers" strategic decisions. Our objective was to identify factors that promote resilience of organic dairy cattle farms over time. We surveyed 81 organic dairy-cattle farms in six French regions. We collected data on farm structure (e.g. utilised agricultural area, number of cows) and on farmers' practices (e.g. calving period, grazing duration, date of turnout to grazing). Unlike most resilience assessments, which rely on technical and economic indicators and threshold values defined by experts, we used the evolution of farmers' satisfaction since they converted to organic farming as a surrogate for subjective (i.e. self-perceived) resilience. We postulated that stable or increasing well-being of farmers, which is visible through their satisfaction, would demonstrate subjective resilience of farms in a holistic way. Using sparse Partial Least Square regression, we related the evolution of farm structures and farmers' practices over time to the evolution of farmers' satisfaction in the face of a variety of disturbances (e.g. droughts, decrease in milk prices). Results showed that practices that focused on self-sufficient pasture-based grazing systems improved farmers' satisfaction and thus the subjective resilience of organic dairy cattle farms. On average, farmers who improved their satisfaction increased the duration of full grazing (i.e. no other feedstuff distributed) by 0.7 months and advanced the date of turnout to grazing by 6.5 days over a 10-year period. We developed an original method, based on farmers' perceptions, to assess the subjective resilience of farms to multiple disturbances (e.g. climatic, economic, health-related) and for the first time showed the potential of pasture-based grazing systems to promote the subjective resilience of organic dairy farms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2020
Keywords
Resilience, Farmer satisfaction, Dairy farming, Organic agriculture, Holistic approach
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-277693 (URN)10.1016/j.agsy.2020.102875 (DOI)000539094600010 ()2-s2.0-85085569566 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20200803

Available from: 2020-08-03 Created: 2020-08-03 Last updated: 2022-06-26Bibliographically approved
Perrin, A., Milestad, R. & Martin, G. (2020). Resilience applied to farming: organic farmers' perspectives. Ecology and Society, 25(4), Article ID 5.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resilience applied to farming: organic farmers' perspectives
2020 (English)In: Ecology and Society, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 25, no 4, article id 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increasingly uncertain and changing agricultural context raises questions about the resilience, i.e., ability to cope with disturbances, of farms to climate change and other disturbances. To date, the resilience concept has been discussed mainly in the scientific field leading to an abundant literature on social-ecological system resilience and on livelihood resilience. A farm resilience framework is developing and borrows from those two frameworks. However, consistent application of the farm resilience concept remains difficult and requires better consideration of farmers' perspectives. Our objectives in this study were to highlight farmers' perceptions of farm resilience to the variety of disturbances they have to cope with in their daily farm management and to highlight resilience factors. We conducted 128 semistructured interviews on French organic dairy cattle (85) and sheep (43) farms. We asked farmers six open-ended questions about resilience in organic dairy farming. Inductive content analysis of the data was conducted. According to farmers, a resilient farm relies on a high degree of autonomy in investments, animal feeding, and decision making, and is economically efficient. Other resilience indicators include consistency of the farming plan, with, e.g., herd size corresponding to the production potential of the land, and transferability of the farm to relatives, through, e.g., the financial capital required to take over the farm. Farmers also highlighted different ways to achieve resilience. Because of the higher cost of organic inputs, converting to organic farming indirectly promotes adaptations of farms toward autonomy and economic efficiency, and is thus regarded as a major resilience factor. Farmers also highlighted the central role of pastures and grazing to achieve autonomy and improve cost control. Diversification within the farm via crop rotations, herd composition, and farm products was also considered to improve farm resilience. In this study, we are the first to explore organic farmers' perception of farm resilience. Better understanding farmers' perceptions is necessary for developing training and advisory programs to support farm resilience to a variety of disturbances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Resilience Alliance, Inc., 2020
Keywords
content analysis, dairy farmer, organic farming, perception, resilience
National Category
Agricultural Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-289897 (URN)10.5751/ES-11897-250405 (DOI)000603995100019 ()2-s2.0-85098667798 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20210211

Available from: 2021-02-11 Created: 2021-02-11 Last updated: 2024-07-04Bibliographically approved
Milestad, R., Röös, E., Stenius, T. & Wivstad, M. (2020). Tensions in future development of organic production—views of stakeholders on Organic 3.0. Organic Agriculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tensions in future development of organic production—views of stakeholders on Organic 3.0
2020 (English)In: Organic Agriculture, ISSN 1879-4238, E-ISSN 1879-4246Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analysed Swedish stakeholders’ views on future developments of organic production and consumption based on Organic 3.0, a strategic initiative by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Focus group discussions were carried out with actors representing different parts of the organic value chain in Sweden. These identified a number of tensions, four of which represented an unresolved dichotomy in the way forward for the organic movement and its relevance for organic production in most settings. The first tension was between the drive for increased efficiency to achieve higher yields and an agroecological approach with broader sustainability values. The second concerned availability of plant nutrients in organic agriculture including safe recirculating of nutrients from society. The third tension set new technology against the precautionary principle and the notion of naturalness. The fourth concerned the role of organic as an innovation system; whether organic should be a forerunner, i.e. performing well above average and fostering innovation, or whether organic should be a broader movement including more farmers but then requiring more regulations that may hinder innovation. These tensions will result in important choices on direction for the organic sector as it pursues the Organic 3.0 goal of sustainably feeding a growing population based on farming systems based on organic principles. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020
Keywords
Agroecology, Innovation, Naturalness, Nutrient recycling, Organic regulations, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-284947 (URN)10.1007/s13165-020-00312-4 (DOI)2-s2.0-85085991997 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20201214

Available from: 2020-12-14 Created: 2020-12-14 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved
Kummer, S. & Milestad, R. (2020). The Diversity of Organic Box Schemes in Europe-An Exploratory Study in Four Countries. Sustainability, 12(7), Article ID 2734.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Diversity of Organic Box Schemes in Europe-An Exploratory Study in Four Countries
2020 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 7, article id 2734Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Box schemes provide an opportunity to scale up local organic food systems by aggregating products from multiple producers and efficiently delivering them to consumers. However, there is limited knowledge about the overall organic box scheme landscape and how it develops. This article explores organic box schemes in four European countries and thus contributes by comparing box schemes of different sizes in different geographical and organisational contexts. Survey results from 44 box schemes were used to analyse box schemes in relation to size and growth, organisation, communication with customers, delivery modes, distances travelled by produce and boxes, and values adhered to. Although the surveyed box schemes differed in size and organisation, similarities between box schemes were found in many aspects. For example, most surveyed box schemes had grown considerably since their start, and wished to grow further, and they all rated certain values as important. A tendency for larger box schemes to offer more imported produce, to have operated for a longer time, and to use social media for advertising more often was found. Despite the heterogeneity of the box schemes in the survey, we conclude that box schemes are a useful category to explore in the sustainability transition of food systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2020
Keywords
organic box schemes, local food systems, community supported agriculture (CSA), food hubs, survey
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-276921 (URN)10.3390/su12072734 (DOI)000531558100159 ()2-s2.0-85083638595 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20200622

Available from: 2020-06-22 Created: 2020-06-22 Last updated: 2022-06-26Bibliographically approved
Milestad, R., Carlsson Kanyama, A. & Schaffer, C. (2020). The Högdalen urban farm: a real case assessment of sustainability attributes. Food Security
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Högdalen urban farm: a real case assessment of sustainability attributes
2020 (English)In: Food Security, ISSN 1876-4517, E-ISSN 1876-4525Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While urban indoor farming is a fairly new phenomenon, there is a growing interest from producers, authorities and consumers alike. However, many assumptions are made, and expectations held, about urban indoor farming from a sustainability, food production and food provisioning point of view. These assumptions and expectations need to be tested and assessed. This study assessed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a number of social aspects of a newly established indoor urban farm in Stockholm. The farm was the result of a project created by commercial, civil society and municipal actors with the aim to make use of unused urban space, create jobs and produce food. While lettuce grown on the indoor farm emitted more GHG than lettuce cultivated outdoors in Sweden, it was more climate friendly than imported lettuce in our comparison. Furthermore, the indoor farm created value for the actors involved and for the city district, albeit on a small scale. Many of the positive environmental and social features owed to the small scale of the indoor farm and the context in which it developed. Thus, when evaluating production systems like this one, we need to be cautious and refrain from extrapolating the results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020
Keywords
Indoor farming, Stockholm, Sweden, Sustainable food production, Temperate areas, Urban agriculture
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-285403 (URN)10.1007/s12571-020-01045-8 (DOI)000534693300001 ()2-s2.0-85085284197 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20201130

Available from: 2020-11-30 Created: 2020-11-30 Last updated: 2024-01-10Bibliographically approved
Milestad, R., Kummer, S. & Hirner, P. (2017). Does scale matter?: Investigating the growth of a local organic box scheme in Austria. Journal of Rural Studies, 54, 304-313
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does scale matter?: Investigating the growth of a local organic box scheme in Austria
2017 (English)In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 54, p. 304-313Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scaling up local organic food systems may be one way to render the overall food system more environmentally friendly and socially just. This paper focuses on an Austrian organic box scheme, specifically on how its relationship with local farmers is experienced in a process of growth. For data collection, we carried out semi-structured interviews with 19 supplying farmers and conducted a focus group discussion with 11 members of the management staff of the box scheme company. We explore the question: how did the growth of the box scheme influence relationships between supplying farmers and the box scheme in this local organic food system – from the farmers’ perspective as well as from the perspective of the box scheme company itself? A major challenge for the box scheme was reconciling its values (e.g. supporting many local organic farms) with practical issues such as logistics and coordination. The box scheme managed its growth by strengthening cooperation with two larger vegetable farms/wholesalers. But its support for diverse local organic farms suffered in this process, and the box scheme was still searching for solutions to efficiently interact with such a high number of suppliers. Having a high number of local producers was central to the box scheme's identity; therefore, internal governance structures needed refinement and reflection. The tension between specific qualities such as procurement from a multitude of local farmers on the one hand, and practical economical and logistical considerations on the other lies at the heart of the experience of scaling up local organic food systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Austria, Box scheme, Local food system, Organic agriculture, Scaling up
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212272 (URN)10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.06.013 (DOI)000411545000026 ()2-s2.0-85023625299 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2008-428
Note

QC 20170817

Available from: 2017-08-17 Created: 2017-08-17 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8626-7288

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