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Towards a Sustainable Food System: Entrepreneurship, Resilience and Agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis compares conventional agriculture and Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA) in terms of their environmental and socio-economic effects. Environmental effects include greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, but this analysis focuses on nutrient losses. Socio-economic effects include production, costs and benefits at macro, firm and household level. Comparisons were made at regional (Baltic Sea), national (Swedish) and local (community/municipality) level. At regional level, the main challenge is to make agriculture more environmentally friendly and reduce nutrient losses, while maintaining food production. At national level, the challenges are to shift the product mix towards more vegetables and less meat and to address the geographical division between animal and crop production. At local level, the challenge is to achieve sustainable environmental, economic and social rural development. At regional level, the empirical findings were scaled up to create three scenarios. In one scenario, agriculture in Poland and the Baltic States was transformed to resemble the Swedish average structure and resource use, which gave increased nitrogen and phosphorus surplus and substantially increased food production. Two other scenarios in which agriculture in the entire Baltic Sea area converted to ERA gave reductions in nitrogen surplus and eliminated the phosphorus surplus, while food production decreased or remained stable, depending on the strategy chosen. At national level, the environmental effects of different production methods, transport and different food baskets were compared. A household survey was performed to construct an alternative food basket, which was high in vegetables, low in meat and high in locally produced organic food compared with the average Swedish food profile. It was also 24% more expensive. Food basket content was found to be as important as production method in reducing environmental effects. Local production and processing was less important. At local level, an importer and wholesaler of organic fruit and vegetables and a group of environmentally concerned consumers were studied. The business was found to be resilient, i.e. well-suited to adapt to turbulence, and with a history of being innovative.

Abstract [sv]

I den här avhandlingen jämförs konventionellt jordbruk med ekologiskt kretsloppsjordbruk. Jämförelsen görs med avseende på miljöeffekter och socio-ekonomisk påverkan. Av miljöeffekterna är fokus på läckage av växtnäring men utsläpp av växthusgaser samt energianvändning studeras också. Till de socio-ekonomiska effekterna räknas effekter på produktionsvolym samt kostnader och nyttor på såväl samhälls- som företags- och hushållsnivå. Jämförelsen görs på regional (Östersjöområdet), nationell (Sverige) och lokal (Järna/Södertälje kommun) nivå. På regional nivå är den stora utmaningen att omvandla jordbruksproduktionen i miljövänlig riktning och att minska närsaltsbelastningen samtidigt som produktionen hålls uppe. På nationell nivå är en utmaning att ändra produktionssammansättningen mot mer vegetabilier och mindre kött samt att minska den geografiska uppdelningen av djurhållning och spannmål. På lokal nivå är utmaningen att uppnå en hållbar landsbygdsutveckling ur miljömässigt såväl som ekonomiskt och socialt perspektiv.

Resultat: på regional nivå beräknas miljöpåverkan och påverkan på livsmedelsproduktion i tre olika scenarier. Enligt ett scenario omvandlar Polen och de baltiska staterna sina jordbrukssektorer efter samma struktur och resursanvändning som ett genomsnittligt svenskt jordbruk. Det resulterar i att överskottet av kväve och fosfor i jordbruket ökar med 58% respektive 18% samtidigt som livsmedelsproduktionen ökar betydligt. Två andra scenarier där jordbruket i hela Östersjöregionen ställer om till ekologiskt kretsloppsjordbruk resulterar i reduktion av kväveöverskottet från jordbruket med 47-61% samt att fosforöverskottet elimineras. I de här scenarierna skulle livsmedelsproduktionen minska eller vara i princip oförändrad beroende på vilken strategi som väljs.

På nationell nivå jämförs miljöpåverkan av olika produktionsmetoder, av transporter samt av olika matkassar. En hushållsstudie genomfördes i en grupp miljömedvetna konsumenter för att konstruera en alternativ matkasse. Matkassen innehöll en stor andel grönsaker, en liten andel kött och mycket lokalt och ekologiskt producerad mat jämfört med en genomsnittlig svensk matkasse. Den var även 24% dyrare i inköp. Det visade sig att miljöbelastningen påverkades väl så mycket av matkassens innehåll som av produktionsmetod. Lokal produktion och förädling var inte lika betydelsefullt.

På lokal nivå studerades en grossist och importör av ekologiska frukter och grönsaker samt en grupp av miljöengagerade konsumenter (hushållsstudien ovan). Semistrukturerade intervjuer användes för att studera företaget, som visade sig vara resilient, det vill säga väl förberett för att klara turbulens på marknaden. Företaget karaktäriserades av ekonomisk stabilitet och en tradition av att vara innovativt. Ett exempel är Ekolådan, den första helt ekologisk hemleveransen av frukt och grönsaker i Stockholmsområdet. I den studerade regionen (Södertälje kommun) är efterfrågan på ekologiska livsmedel – från såväl hushåll och företag och andra organisationer som kommunen själv – hög jämfört med övriga Sverige.

EU:s utvidgning innebär en möjlighet till förändrad förvaltning av Östersjön och jordbrukssektorn. En omställning i stor skala till ekologiskt kretsloppsjordbruk skulle leda till miljöförbättringar. En hållbar förvaltning av Östersjön, något som överenskommits inom ramen för HELCOM, kan inte uppnås samtidigt som jordbruksproduktionen maximeras i länderna runt Östersjön. Jordbruket orsakar betydande externa kostnader. Betalningsviljan för en förbättrad Östersjömiljö är stor vilket motiverar investeringar i ett miljövänligare, hållbart jordbruk. Medlemmarna i HELCOM, däribland Sveriges regering, har såväl ekonomiska som miljömässiga incitament att utnyttja möjligheten som Polens och de baltiska staternas EU-medlemskap innebär.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 100 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS, ISSN 1652-5442 ; 2016:02
Keyword [en]
Sustainable agriculture, eutrophication, Baltic Sea, entrepreneurship, resilience, sustainable food system
Keyword [sv]
Hållbart jordbruk, övergödning, Östersjön, entreprenörskap, resiliens, hållbart livsmedelssystem
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187361ISBN: 978-91-7729-028-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-187361DiVA: diva2:929966
Public defence
2016-06-13, Sal L 51, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 15:06 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160523

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-20 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Sustainable governance of agriculture and the Baltic Sea: Agricultural reforms, food production and curbed eutrophication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable governance of agriculture and the Baltic Sea: Agricultural reforms, food production and curbed eutrophication
2010 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, no 69, 1943-1951 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agricultural production and nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea are likely to increase following Poland's and the Baltic States' entrance into the EU. According to HELCOM these trends will be highly dependent on the agricultural policies of the EU. The expansion of the EU can be seen as a window of opportunity where agricultural policy could improve the Baltic Sea environment. Longstanding initiatives with local organic food systems and Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA) in the eight EU-countries in the Baltic Sea drainage area were evaluated during 2001–2004. The empirical results were scaled up to calculate environmental impact and food production for three different scenarios. In one scenario the Baltic Countries and Poland convert their agriculture following the average Swedish production.This resulted in 58% increase of nitrogen and 18% increase in phosphorus surplus, a corresponding increase inthe load to the Baltic Sea and increased food production. In two other scenarios agriculture production in thewhole Baltic Sea drainage area converts to ERA. This halved the nitrogen surplus from agriculture andeliminated the surplus of phosphorus. In these scenarios food production would decrease or remain stabledepending on strategy chosen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187463 (URN)
Note

QC 20160524

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
2. Sustainable food system: Targeting production methods, distribution or food basket content?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable food system: Targeting production methods, distribution or food basket content?
2012 (English)In: Organic Food and Agriculture - New Trends and Developments in the Social Sciences. / [ed] Reed, M, INTECH, 2012, 197-216 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Agriculture is the single most important contributor to the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Itis responsible for 59% of the anthropogenic nitrogen and 56% of the phosphorous emissions(HELCOM, 2005). A second important source of nutrient emissions is at the other end of thefood system – emissions from municipal waste-water treatment plants and from privatehouseholds. Addressing different aspects of the food system is thus crucial for the Baltic Seaenvironment. To tackle eutrophication both nitrogen and phosphorous loads should bereduced (MVB, 2005). This can be achieved if emissions from the food system are reduced,e.g. by closing the nutrient cycle from soil to crop and back to agricultural soil (Diaz andRosenberg, 2008). Granstedt (2000) finds that the high surplus and emissions of nitrate andphosphorous in Swedish agriculture is a consequence of specialized agriculture with itsseparation of crop and animal production. Similar findings are reported from different partsof Europe (Brower et al., 1995). About 80% of cropland in Sweden is used for fodderproduction but the animal production is concentrated to a limited number of specializedanimal farms. Manure, with its contents of nutrients from the whole agriculture area, istoday concentrated on only 20% of the Swedish arable land (Statistics Sweden, 2011). Thisresults in high nutrient surplus and load of nitrogen and phosphorus from these areas.Granstedt (2000) concludes that the emissions can be limited by combining best availableagricultural technology with increased recycling of nutrients within the agricultural systemtrough integration of crop and animal production - ecological recycling agriculture (ERA).This facilitates an efficient use of the plant nutrients in farm yard manure. Other studies ofnutrient balances comparing farming systems and lifecycle assessment report similarobservations (Halberg, 1999; Myrbeck, 1999; Steinshamn et al., 2004; Uusitalo, 2007). Thepotential of reduced nutrient emissions trough ERA was confirmed in case studies on localorganic farms around the Baltic Sea (Granstedt et al., 2008; Larsson and Granstedt, 2010).Carlsson-Kanyama (1999) found that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by localand organic food production due to shorter transportation. Similar results are reported in acompilation of studies (FiBL, 2006) and in studies of local production and processing inJärna, Sweden (Wallgren, 2008). According to Carlsson-Kanyama et al. (2004) the reductionsare not significant unless local distribution becomes more efficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
INTECH, 2012
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187465 (URN)979-953-307-117-5 (ISBN)
Note

QC 20160524

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved
3. The resilience of a sustainability entrepreneur in the Swedish food system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The resilience of a sustainability entrepreneur in the Swedish food system
2016 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 6, 550Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizational resilience emphasizes the adaptive capacity for renewal after crisis. This paperexplores the resilience of a business with both a social and an environmental orientation—a not-forprofitbusiness that claims to contribute to sustainable development of the food system. We ask whatconstitutes social and sustainable entrepreneurship in this case, and discuss determinants of theresilience of the business. The business, Biodynamiska Produkter (BP), has experienced periods ofgrowth, conservation, and rapid decline in demand, followed by periods of re-organization. Our resultssuggest that BP, with its social mission and focus on organic food, meets the criteria of both a socialand sustainability entrepreneurship organization. Two major crises in the late 1980s and late 1990swere met by re-organization and novel market innovations. Other criteria for resilience, met by BP,include flexibility, high level of trust, authentic value-based leadership promoting experimentation andadaptability, and a long-term authentic local trade-mark supporting customer loyalty. BP has beeneconomically resilient but not thriving. Controlling the value chain and following the social andenvironmental objectives were given higher priority than expanding its operations. In 2003 BPlaunched a box scheme and after its crisis in 2008/2009 focused on consolidation rather than newinnovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2016
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187467 (URN)10.3390/su8060550 (DOI)000378776800047 ()2-s2.0-84976314655 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160524

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
4. Identifying governance strategies that effectively support ecosystem services, resource sustainability, and biodiversity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying governance strategies that effectively support ecosystem services, resource sustainability, and biodiversity
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 108, no 13, 5308-5312 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Conservation scientists, national governments, and internationalconservation groups seek to devise, and implement, governancestrategies that mitigate human impact on the environment. However,few studies to date have systematically investigated the performanceof different systems of governance in achieving successfulconservation outcomes. Here, we use a newly-developed analyticframework to conduct analyses of a suite of case studies, linkingdifferent governance strategies to standardized scores for deliveringecosystem services, achieving sustainable use of natural resources,and conserving biodiversity, at both local and internationallevels. Our results: (i) confirm the benefits of adaptive management;and (ii) reveal strong associations for the role of leadership. Ourwork provides a critical step toward implementing empirically justifiedgovernance strategies that are capable of improving the managementof human-altered environments, with benefits for bothbiodiversity and people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Academy Press, 2011
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187466 (URN)10.1073/pnas.1007933108 (DOI)
Note

QC 20160524

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
5. Institutional barriers to organic farming in Centraland Eastern European countries of the Baltic Sea region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional barriers to organic farming in Centraland Eastern European countries of the Baltic Sea region
2013 (English)In: Agricultural and Food Economics, ISSN 2193-7532Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A window of opportunity to promote organic farming is open for the Central andEastern European Countries (CEEC) that joined the EU in 2004. The development oforganic farming has the potential to decrease the amount of nutrient leaching tothe Baltic Sea and could help to stop the environmental degradation of the Sea.However, this requires a diverse set of institutions. This paper explores theinstitutions that are lacking to promote the full development of organic farming inthe CEEC, using Sweden as a baseline reference. A case study approach, formalisedby introducing a set of indicators, has been used to identify the missing institutions.Data have been obtained from a desktop study, including a literature review,interviews and a questionnaire. The case studies partially support previous studiesproposing that the development of organic farming proceeds along six steps:establishment of an organic farming community; establishment of politicalrecognition; establishment of financial support; establishment of non-competitiverelationships between the organic sector and general agricultural institutions;establishment of an organic food market; and development of a discussion andcoordination arena. The results show that market development is the leastdeveloped step and that there is a correlation between higher governmentalengagement and a more developed organic sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Open, 2013
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187468 (URN)
Note

QC 20160524

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-01-12Bibliographically approved

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