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Local food in Iceland : identifying behavioural barriers to change towards increased production and consumption

Halldorsdottir, Thorhildur Osk LU (2013) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20131
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Increased production and consumption of local food may partly counteract the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of industrialised and globalised food production. The aim of this thesis was to identify the barriers the country of Iceland faces in increasing production and consumption of local food.
The research was guided by the framework of Integral theory, identifying behavioural barriers to change (Owens, 2005). Data collection was partly guided by the framework of Regional food systems (Clancy & Ruhf, 2010). The research questions were based on addressing structural, cultural, and personal barriers to change towards increased production and consumption of local food. The process involved estimating the food... (More)
Increased production and consumption of local food may partly counteract the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of industrialised and globalised food production. The aim of this thesis was to identify the barriers the country of Iceland faces in increasing production and consumption of local food.
The research was guided by the framework of Integral theory, identifying behavioural barriers to change (Owens, 2005). Data collection was partly guided by the framework of Regional food systems (Clancy & Ruhf, 2010). The research questions were based on addressing structural, cultural, and personal barriers to change towards increased production and consumption of local food. The process involved estimating the food production capacity of Iceland, and illustrating consumers´ attitudes towards local food. For this purpose, quantitative data sets were analysed, both from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) and an Icelandic food and biotech research and development company (Matís). Qualitative data from public sources, such as the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, were also explored in order to validate the quantitative data and deepen the results.
No structural barriers were identified, meaning that it is possible for the country of Iceland to increase production of local food substantially, even beyond the amount that is currently supplied through import. This could be done without compromising the needs of future generations. A cultural barrier to production was identified in the decrease in food variety that would occur if food production would only be from domestic sources. Survey results demonstrate that consumers´ attitudes towards local food are positive, and they are aware of the sustainability issues connected to local food, but also that they make justifications for not choosing local food. This was identified as a personal barrier to change towards increased consumption of local food.
The results show that there is nothing obviously hindering increased production of local food in Iceland, but decreased food variety is an issue that should be given attention. Consumers are generally positive towards local food and are aware of the sustainability issues connected to local food. However they might justify their choices, which implies that marketing strategies and general knowledge connected to local food in Iceland might be improved. Although the results apply to the case of Iceland, the method of identifying behavioural barriers to change is applicable to other cases, such as countries, regions, or food sheds. (Less)
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author
Halldorsdottir, Thorhildur Osk LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
resource management, sustainability science, food supply, consumer behaviour.
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2013:005
language
English
id
3810789
date added to LUP
2013-06-24 13:26:47
date last changed
2013-06-24 13:26:47
@misc{3810789,
  abstract     = {Increased production and consumption of local food may partly counteract the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of industrialised and globalised food production. The aim of this thesis was to identify the barriers the country of Iceland faces in increasing production and consumption of local food. 
 The research was guided by the framework of Integral theory, identifying behavioural barriers to change (Owens, 2005). Data collection was partly guided by the framework of Regional food systems (Clancy & Ruhf, 2010). The research questions were based on addressing structural, cultural, and personal barriers to change towards increased production and consumption of local food. The process involved estimating the food production capacity of Iceland, and illustrating consumers´ attitudes towards local food. For this purpose, quantitative data sets were analysed, both from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) and an Icelandic food and biotech research and development company (Matís). Qualitative data from public sources, such as the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, were also explored in order to validate the quantitative data and deepen the results. 
 No structural barriers were identified, meaning that it is possible for the country of Iceland to increase production of local food substantially, even beyond the amount that is currently supplied through import. This could be done without compromising the needs of future generations. A cultural barrier to production was identified in the decrease in food variety that would occur if food production would only be from domestic sources. Survey results demonstrate that consumers´ attitudes towards local food are positive, and they are aware of the sustainability issues connected to local food, but also that they make justifications for not choosing local food. This was identified as a personal barrier to change towards increased consumption of local food. 
 The results show that there is nothing obviously hindering increased production of local food in Iceland, but decreased food variety is an issue that should be given attention. Consumers are generally positive towards local food and are aware of the sustainability issues connected to local food. However they might justify their choices, which implies that marketing strategies and general knowledge connected to local food in Iceland might be improved. Although the results apply to the case of Iceland, the method of identifying behavioural barriers to change is applicable to other cases, such as countries, regions, or food sheds.},
  author       = {Halldorsdottir, Thorhildur Osk},
  keyword      = {resource management,sustainability science,food supply,consumer behaviour.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Local food in Iceland : identifying behavioural barriers to change towards increased production and consumption},
  year         = {2013},
}