Communication internally in LRF : how the question regarding GMO have been communicate with LRF members

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Abstract: An investigation of the Federation of Swedish farmers (LRF) and how their agenda and communication have addressed growing genetically modified organism (GMO). LRF is an interest organization for the rural industries with almost 170 000 individual members. Currently, no commercial GMOs is grown in Sweden. LRF has decided to investigate the potential benefits of growing GM crops in Sweden from the perspective of science and the precautionary principles in their GMO policy. LRF are now gathering information to help them address the GMO issue. Utilizing interviews with Stockholm LRF employees and one member the thesis examine how LRF have communicated their GMO policy about GMO internally in the organization with the two target groups; employees and members. To get the perspective of the two target groups in LRF the thesis using the theoretical concept of communities of practice. Communities of practice are a theoretical concept that is based on community where members can share knowledge within the community. Through this knowledge the member's can develop the communities’ interest by common action through interaction with other members, or outside the community.The power structure in LRF is centralized with the general assembly and LRF board deciding the policies. However, the members of LRF and other farmers has the freedom to choose to follow the GMO policy or not, although LRF has to follow the policy. The discussion regarding the GMO question in LRF is about the patent rights that are mostly owned by big companies. These companies give them an oligopoly situation on the market of GM crops, which has been misused on the global arena. The media are creating a situation from this misuse of GMO issue. The question regarding GMO has been a communication problem for LRF where both members that are against and those that are pro of GMO criticise the LRF policy about GMO and how GMO should be used. Lack of knowledge about GMO has been one issue where LRF not has succeeded to cover. The ambition has not been only to teach the members benefits GMO can give the members, but to give a broad base for the farmers’ decision to use or not to use GMOs.

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