International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Social Acceptance of Climate Change Adaptation in Farms and Food Enterprises: A Case Study in Finland

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Volume 22, issue 2 (2015), pages 105–123

Authors: Antti Puupponen, Teea Kortetmäki, Ari Paloviita and Marja Järvelä
Affiliation: Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

ISSN: 0798-1759


Abstract

This article identifies perceived climate change risks and adaptation aspects among farms and food processing enterprises using a case study in Finland. In addition, the article pinpoints key factors that contribute to the social acceptance of climate change adaptation and mitigation policies in the food system. The purpose is to study the willingness of farms and food enterprises to accept and adapt to different climate policy implementation. The research data consists of 27 thematic interviews conducted in 2012 and 2013. The main research questions were: 1. What risks does climate change pose to farms and food enterprises? 2. What adaptation features can be identified in farms and food enterprises? 3. What factors contribute to the social acceptance of climate change mitigation and adaptation in relation to policy practices? For data analysis content analysis was utilized. The results show that climate change is a somewhat indistinct issue from the viewpoint of the food enterprises. In addition, the adaptation to climate change in food enterprises can be characterized as a reactive strategy based on the localization and decentralization of food supply chains, as well as on the development of regional food systems. Farmers found it difficult to estimate the overall consequences of climate change for their farms. They also gave strong support to localized food systems. The study found that social acceptance of adaptation policies depends on the degree of limitation and estimated effects of the policies on the profitability of farming and food entrepreneurship. More broadly, a nexus between food security and energy security policies and climate change adaptation goals should be established. A local energy system would ensure the functioning of the local food system as well. We conclude that value-based strategic partnerships in the food supply chain could enhance the regions’ adaptive capacity and resilience, as well as its social acceptance of climate change adaptation goals.

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