Sustainability and organics : an explorative case study of the Swedish organic dairy sector from a sustainability marketing perspective
Abstract: Organic farming, considered as an agricultural practice, is supported by the CAP as an initiation for promoting environmental friendly method. The CAP supports the growth of a consumer-driven organic market. Organic farming is a sustainable practise that benefits the environment; market supports economic growth and society benefits in terms of health and quality of food. A large number of Swedish organic farmers have adopted organic farming practices, which is evident by large number of utilized agricultural land under organic farming. The Swedish dairy sector plays a dual role of maintaining a varied landscape and at the same time contributing to the nations’ economy.Moreover, the organic dairy products are the largest consumable organic products in Sweden. An attempt has been made to explore the organic development in Europe, by considering the Swedish organic dairy sector as a case-study. The policies and regulations framed under the EU have been scrutinized to understand the organic development. Further, a study and analysis of the various organisations involved in the Swedish organic dairy sector leads to the conclusion that the organizations are very much collaborated with each other and the market is dominated largely by two dairy companies, Arla Foods and Skånemejerier. However, this collaboration and exchange of information is limited only till the production side. There is a communication gap between the consumers and producers, that only a limited group of dedicated green consumers purchase organic products. Thus, the marketing strategy needs to be improved that shall ensure the involvement of all important stakeholders, like retailers in the decision-making process. Market orientation model has been used for analysis. It is observed that the Swedish organic dairy sector truly fits into the market orientation model, which is generally adopted by companies as an important corporate marketing tool. The author suggests that the companies need to adopt a sustainability marketing approach that includes all the stakeholders while encompassing the triple bottom line approach. A market-focused sustainability framework has been proposed in this regard. This framework helps the companies to devise marketing steps that take into consideration the social and ecological systems. Such an integrated approach is a necessity to ensure a sustainable organic system. The framework is just a small step to bridge the gap between the consumption and production sides, but in the end, purchasing behaviour is based on ethical motivations of consumers.
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