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Mäehans, Astrid, 2017. Communication about sustainability in the food value chain : communicative challenges and opportunities. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



A change in diets is vital due to the high environmental impact of food. To enable this change
communication about sustainable food plays an important role. Food and sustainability are both areas
involving a high level of complexity, making the relationship between communication, sustainability
and food a central area to study. The thesis is written in connection to One Planet Food, a foodinitiative
from World Wild Fund for Nature, which steered the focus of the study to communication
within the food value chain. This thesis examines how actors working within the food value chain
experience communicative challenges and opportunities in connection to sustainability. The Actors
are interviewed though semi-standardized expert interviews to study their subjective understanding of
communication in connection to sustainability. A theoretical framework is build based on Per Espen
Stoknes’ model of strategic communication, which is evaluated in connection to the actor’s
experiences of sustainability communication. The interviews showed patterns of both challenges and
opportunities in connection to sustainability messages, and the patterns were also possible to link to
parts of Stoknes’ strategies. Communication about sustainability showed to be a complex area,
however concluded in that both the interviewed actors and Stoknes argued for a communication
strategy of positive, simple and consensus oriented communication. Communication about
sustainability showed to be limited due to aspects as an individual focused message, profit being a
competing factor with sustainability, communication noise and a lack of dialogue with the audience.

Main title:Communication about sustainability in the food value chain
Subtitle:communicative challenges and opportunities
Authors:Mäehans, Astrid
Supervisor:Nordström Källström, Helena
Examiner:Holmgren, Sara
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:communication, sustainability, food, challenges, opportunities, One Planet Food
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Development economics and policies
Deposited On:05 Oct 2017 11:24
Metadata Last Modified:05 Oct 2017 11:24

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