Food products in line with the next generation of sustainability thinking : and the example of cow’s milk
Abstract: Dairy products are responsible for a large part of the environmental impact from foods, where milk bears a part of that burden. The dairy industry has a responsibility to provide high quality and sustainable products on a daily basis. Considering the whole dairy chain, the agricultural production and the dairy farm have the highest environmental impact. So far, not much attention has been given to bringing together retailers, wholesalers, food service and their view of sustainability and milk and provide a possible future picture in line with this. This makes it interesting to investigate this area further. Therefore milk, and more specifically lactose free milk, will state example. The focus of this thesis was to explore sustainability thinking in selected actors in Sweden within retail, wholesale and food service, complemented with indications from farmer and consumer viewpoints. A qualitative study was conducted, interviews from each organization were analyzed and related to literature findings. Findings in this thesis can be connected to organization level, food level, milk as an animal product and lactose free. Few findings are specifically connected to lactose free. Characteristics on product level are tied to milk in general, and dairy products, rather than lactose free. Sales of organic foods and milk are increasing and empirical findings indicate a continued interest, possibly also concerning lactose free milk. Milk consumption has decreased, and is predicted to decrease. There is an increased focus on vegetable products and indications that vegetable and alternative products compete with milk. Retailers have power in driving the sustainable development, but both retailers and the food service actors/caterers express their power to impact through their size. Food service are highly steered by regulatory forces, meanwhile retailers primarily are driven and hindered by market- and social related forces. Price is a steering factor in public procurement. Since sustainable products often are seen as more expensive this might slow down the sustainable development in food service and wholesale. The demand for sustainable products puts pressure on actors in the food chain to provide desired products. The possibilites for future milk production on the farm are to support the farmers in actions towards a cyclic system, take help from technology, limit the antibiotic use and provide good animal welfare for the farmed cows. If using palm oil and soy in feed, these should be sustainable produced.
AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)