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Gillheimer, Madeleine, 2023. How is triple bottom line thinking included in small-firm decision making? – A study of potato farmers in Östergötland, Sweden : hur påverkas potatisproduktionen av kvalitetskrav?. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics



Earlier research has shown a lack of studies on waste in agriculture production. Therefore, there is
a need for improved screening for the cause of wastage in primary production. In addition, more
research is required on how quality requirements and norms affect wastage and how waste can be
prevented. Food is lost or wasted through the supply chain; the waste appears from the primary
production to the end consumer.
The waste in the food chain creates financial losses and unnecessary environmental impacts on
how the food chain is structured today. The waste in primary production creates also negative
outcomes for producers' finances, cultivatable land, and the climate.
This thesis aims to develop an understanding of how triple bottom line thinking is included in
management decisions in small businesses. The thesis should explain why wastage occur in the
primary production at potato farmers and how the quality norms affect the primary sector of the
losses and waste. Decision-theory and Triple bottom line theories should review a potato
producer's decisions because of the quality requirement from an economic, social, and
environmental value perspective. Two farmers have been interviewed and contributed their
perspectives on the prevailing requirements by researching the quality norms in the primary
production of the potato sector. The respondents have provided perspective on how they connect
economic, social, and environmental values in their decisions.
This research has answered the research questions with the help of a qualitative research strategy.
Qualitative research enables in-depth contextual understanding and closeness to the respondents
who are involved. Therefore, in order to answer the research questions and to provide a deeper
understanding of the farmer's connection to TBL, a case study method was selected.
Food potatoes that do not meet the quality requirements get out-sorted. Where the potatoes get
out-sorted, it is up to the farmer to find alternative ways to sell the potatoes. The farmer needs
actively find new solutions and make decisions. It is from planting to when the farmer will sell the
potatoes and the timing for selling it.
From a farmer's perspective, economic value is essential. According to the farmers, they can
produce food potatoes more sustainable if they get the right profitability. It makes the economic
value in TBL the key to increasing social and environmental value toward sustainability within the
primary production. According to the farmers this means that the Triple bottom line theory is more
one bottom line in the context of potato producers. According to the farmers, with an
understanding from stakeholders, the market and an increase in economic value, the social and
environmental value would increase. In this way, the farmers could provide a more sustainable
production. The understanding is needed to see how factors affect production and, by questioning
norms, creates a development towards more sustainable food production.

Main title:How is triple bottom line thinking included in small-firm decision making? – A study of potato farmers in Östergötland, Sweden
Subtitle:hur påverkas potatisproduktionen av kvalitetskrav?
Authors:Gillheimer, Madeleine
Supervisor:Roos, Annie
Examiner:Ferguson, Richard
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:1496
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY008 Agronomprogrammet ekonomi 300 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:Food waste, production losses, primary production, triple bottom line, decision theory, garbage can model
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Deposited On:24 Jan 2023 11:36
Metadata Last Modified:25 Jan 2023 02:01

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