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Background Bioenergy plays a key role in the transition to a sustainable economy in Europe, but its own sustainability is being questioned. We study the experiences of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, to find out whether the forest-based bioenergy chains developed in the four countries have led to unsustainable outcomes and how the countries manage the sustainability risks. Data were collected from a diversity of sources including interviews, statistical databases, the scientific literature, government planning documents and legislation. Results Sustainability risks of deforestation, degradation of forests, reduced carbon pools in forests, expensive biopower and heat, resource competition, and lack of acceptance at the local level are considered. The experience of the four countries shows that the sustainability risks can to a high degree be managed with voluntary measures without resorting to prescriptive measures. It is possible to add to the carbon pools of forests along with higher harvest volumes if the risks are well managed. There is, however, a marginal trade-off between harvest volume and carbon pools. Economic sustainability risks may be more challenging than ecological risks because the competitiveness order of renewable energy technologies has been reversed in the last decade. The risk of resource competition harming other sectors in the economy was found to be small and manageable but requires continuous monitoring. Local communities acting as bioenergy communities have been agents of change behind the most expansive bioenergy chains. A fear of non-local actors reaping the economic gains involved in bioenergy chains was found to be one of the risks to the trust and acceptance necessary for local communities to act as bioenergy communities. Conclusions The Nordic experience shows that it has been possible to manage the sustainability risks examined in this paper to an extent avoiding unsustainable outcomes. Sustainability risks have been managed by developing an institutional framework involving laws, regulations, standards and community commitments. Particularly on the local level, bioenergy chains should be developed with stakeholder involvement in development and use, in order to safeguard the legitimacy of bioenergy development and reconcile tensions between the global quest for a climate neutral economy and the local quest for an economically viable community. Keywords: Bioenergy, Sustainability, Risk assessment, Risk management, Nordic countries

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In studies of consumption of local food specialties (LFSs), individual personalities are rarely mentioned. In this article, we want to expand on and provide a nuanced explanation of the characteristics of these consumers of these products, asking: Are there any personality traits that characterize these consumers? We use the Big Five personality model to unpack the relationship between individuals' personalities and choices of LFS in the Norwegian context. The model consists of the following five personal traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. These personality traits are latent, but through questions regarding behavior, the traits may be revealed. To construct latent variables to measure these traits, we apply the graded response model. Furthermore, socioeconomic variables are combined with personality traits in logistic regression models to find the relationships between personality and choice of Norwegian LFSs. Our results show that in all models the latent variable Openness to experience was one of the most important predictors of all the choices of LFS made by individuals. Openness to experience is characterized by fantasy, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity. The consequence of the connection between Openness to experience and LFS is that stakeholders may take this into account when seeking to increase sales.

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This paper contributes to the debate on sustainable water consumption by exploring the relation between consumers’ personality, understanding of risk/trust and social distinction in water drinking practices in Norway. Our main research question, how can we understand preferences for water consumption?, is approached by answering a set of hypotheses inspired by a combination of three theoretical approaches. Latent variables measuring personality and conspicuous attitudes are included in frequency models based on the statistical beta distribution together with other predictors. Statistical tests were performed to find the connection between expected frequency of water consumption, personality, risk/trust and conspicuous attitudes. The conclusion is that the consequence of the connections between consumers’ personality, understanding of risk and conspicuous consumption of water should be considered by Norwegian stakeholders when planning future strategies and methods for more sustainable water consumption.

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The regulation and labeling scheme for PDO, PGI and TSG was set up in Norway in 2002, modeled on corresponding systems for geographical indications (GIs) in the European Union. The implementation of GI in Norway was demanding, causing administrators, producers, consultants and others to make a significant and all-round effort to adapt the scheme to the Norwegian food culture and the Norwegian food culture to the scheme. This chapter probes the theme of this mutual adaptation work and its consequences. Norway makes up the food-cultural context in this study, whereas Tørrfisk fra Lofoten (Stockfish from Lofoten (SfL)) is used as a specific case of a GI product. SfL was selected as unit for analysis mainly because it is also registered as a third-country GI product in the European Union. Including the Norway/EU dimension makes it possible to consider not only the local and national levels but also the multilevel dimension and complexity of GI systems as part of the analysis – making the power within, and the consequences of, the adaptation work even more complex and intriguing. The analysis is based on diverse forms of empirical material, such as document studies of laws, policy documents, other documents and interviews with people responsible for working out product regulations in producer organizations. Interviews have also been conducted with key informants representing public administrative bodies administering the regulation. The analysis is not dedicated to any specific methodological or theoretical tools but takes inspiration from an adapted set of perspectives to describe and understand the cultural adaptation work of GI schemes and products. The conclusion is that the evolution of GI in Norway, with SfL as the case study, can be understood as a chain of adaptations and adaptive practices necessary to unite the dynamic that occurs in modern global regulations’ ordering of the cultural status of traditional local products. The consequences of this food-cultural adaptation work give voice to and empower local actors and subordinate groups, but they can also be seen as instruments that hamper democratic forms of development.

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In studies of consumption of local food specialties individuals' personality are rarely included. In this article we want to expand and give nuances to the understanding of what characterizes these consumers and ask: Are there any common personality traits, or personal characteristics of these consumers? We make use of the Big Five personality model to unpack the relation between individual's personality and choices of local food specialties. This model consists of the following five personal traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness to Experience. These personality traits are hidden but through questions regarding behavior the traits may be retrieved. In order to construct latent variables to represent measures of these traits, we apply Item Response Theory (IRT). Socioeconomic variables are combined with personality traits in logistic regression models to find the connection between personality and choice of Norwegian local food specialties. The results show that in all models the latent variable Openness to Experience is a significant predictor for choice of local food specialties. This personality trait was one of the most important predictors in all the choices made by the individuals. Openness to Experience is characterized by fantasy, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity.

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Purpose An important requirement when producers apply for protected designation of origin (PDO) or protected geographical indications (PGIs) is to adapt and agree on a concise definition of the geographical boundaries and area of the product. Whereas PDO products must be both strongly ecologically and culturally embedded in the specific area, PGI products are allowed a weaker degree of embeddedness. The research question of this paper is: How are geographical boundaries becoming PDOs and PGIs? The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach The analysis is based on diverse forms of empirical material. Document studies of laws, policy documents, etc. have been analyzed to uncover what kind of measures and concepts that have been important for implementation of the scheme in Norway. Interviews with producer organizations have involved the persons responsible for working out product regulations in producer organizations. Interviews have also been conducted with key informants representing public administrative bodies administering the regulation. All interviews have been semi-structured. Findings The analysis identifies a set of important conditions for the boundary work of PDO-PGI in Norway. The conditions can generally be said to be characterized by a weak understanding of the food-people-places nexus and a strong reliance on instrumentalised system logic in how to deal with the map-nature dimension in boundary work. The short answer to the research question is that geographical boundaries are becoming PDO and PGI through controversies. Originality/value The controversies are characterized by what is defined as cultural adaptation work. The actors overall adaptation work is understood as the sum of the practices that takes place in the interplay between people’s translations of language and knowledge, reorganization of social relationships and transformation of materiality. The interplay is embedded in the tension between the global and the local, the old and the new and results in both intended and unintended consequences.

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Understanding the quality of new raw material sources will be of great importance to ensure the development of a circular bioeconomy. Building up quality understanding of wood waste is an important step in this development. In this paper we probe two main questions, one substantial and one theoretical: What different understandings of wood waste quality exist and what significance do they have for the recycling and re-use of this waste fraction? And, what is the evolution of knowledge and sustainable practices of wood waste qualities a case of? The analysis is based on diverse perspectives and forms of methods and empirical material. Studies of policy documents, regulations, standards, etc. have been reviewed to uncover what kind of measures and concepts that have been important for governing and regulating wood waste handling. Interviews concerning wood and wood waste qualities have been conducted with key informants and people visiting recycling and waste management stations in Oslo and Akershus in Norway. By studying quality conceptions through the social birth, production, life, end-of-life and re-birth of wood products, we analyse socio-cultural conditions for sustainability. Furthermore we show how the evolution of knowledge and sustainable practices of wood waste qualities, in the meeting with standards and regulations, is a case of adaptation work in the evolution of Norwegian bioeconomy.

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This research note offers a critical-constructive discussion of the article ‘Class, Culture and Culinary Tastes: Cultural Distinctions and Social Class Divisions in Contemporary Norway’, written by Flemmen, Hjellbrekke and Jarness (FHJ) (Sociology, 2018(1)). Concerns are raised about the methods and the use of the data. A robustness analysis with alternative data and/or alternative methods is suggested. Conceptually, the analysis of FHJ is considered not to engage adequately with a more qualitative body of historical and ethnological literature, as well as the impact of Norwegian agricultural policy. To describe and understand the evolution of social meaning and social patterns of the consumption of ‘traditional’ Norwegian foodstuffs, a qualitative approach could have contributed constructively. Overall, wider implications for Bourdieu-inspired analyses of cultural consumption are addressed.

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It is widely acknowledged that interdisciplinary research is required for adequately addressing global challenges. This article explores what interdisciplinary research implies for research libraries assisting such work, and for researchers receiving suppo rt. The main research question is: In what manner is interdisciplinary research support shaped and constructed as a result of contact and collaboration between researchers and the research library? Along with document studies, 15 semi - structured interviews have been conducted involving academic staff at the University of Oslo (UiO) and librarians at the UiO research library. Theoretical insight from the fields of Library and Information Science and Science and Technology Studies are combined using Boundary Objects (BO) as an analytical concept. In analysing empirical data, two dual - level competencies and library practices are identified: those that are technical and librarian, and those that are academically - professional and socio - emotional. In the junctions between these, interdisciplinary research support appears as a boundary object characterized as SubjectSocioTechnical. Collaboration and support for interdisciplinary research call for a complex of competencies, primarily because various support practices must be tailored to fit researchers’ disciplines and needs.

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Divisjon for matproduksjon og samfunn

Sustainable growth of the Norwegian Horticulture Food System – GreenRoad GS35 (“GrøntStrategi mot 2035)


The main aim of GreenRoad is to deliver knowledge and solutions for increased value creation and sustainability in the horticultural food system in Norway. The project will define and prioritize areas and regions suitable for production of selected horticultural crops, assessing environmental, climatic, topographic, economic, social, legal and political constraints and opportunities for increased horticultural production, also in new regions (WP1). The environmental, economic and social sustainability of different strategies for increased horticultural production will be assessed, and new assessment methodologies developed (WP2). GreenRoad will also generate new biological and technical knowledge on methods for increased, improved, sustainable production of high quality horticultural products, taking into account provision of ecosystem services (biodiversity and pollinating activities), circularity of organic resources and the use of waste heat (WP3). The project will assess sustainable value creation barriers and opportunities at all stages in the supply chain, with a focus on seasonal labour supply, retail market structure and labelling strategies, and with Finland as a contrasting case. Business and policy measures to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables will be identified (WP4). Partners and stakeholders will be involved throughout the project in focus groups and other forms of participatory research, and their feedback will contribute to develop innovation platforms and pathways towards GS35 (WP5). A case study on apples binds the different WPs together with a “farm to fork” perspective. The project involves a variety of different disciplines (biology, geography, economy, sociology…) who will collaborate in different WPs. There is a strong involvement of business and national and international research partners.

Aktiv Sist oppdatert: 10.06.2021
Slutt: des 2024
Start: jan 2021