A1 Journal article (refereed)
Finnish dairy farmers’ perceptions of justice in the transition to carbon-neutral farming (2022)

Puupponen, A., Lonkila, A., Savikurki, A., Karttunen, K., Huttunen, S., & Ott, A. (2022). Finnish dairy farmers’ perceptions of justice in the transition to carbon-neutral farming. Journal of Rural Studies, 90, 104-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2022.01.014

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Puupponen, Antti; Lonkila, Annika; Savikurki, Anni; Karttunen, Kaisa; Huttunen, Suvi; Ott, Anna

Journal or series: Journal of Rural Studies

ISSN: 0743-0167

eISSN: 1873-1392

Publication year: 2022

Volume: 90

Pages range: 104-112

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2022.01.014

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80076


Environmental and political debate concerning the role of agriculture in sustainability has long been on the agenda. However, owing to climate change, an analysis of the transition to a low-carbon society must also be considered from the perspective of justice. Dairy farming, in particular, faces pressure in this context, when contemplating changing consumer behaviors and reduction in the carbon footprint of dairy products. Accordingly, many dairy farmers are struggling with the profitability and high production costs of farming. This study examines the experiences and perceptions of dairy farmers in Finland. The theoretical background is predicated upon the “just transition” literature. Additionally, recent literature regarding farmers' attitudes and agency, related to climate and environmental change, is utilized. A collaborative, empirical study of the Finnish dairy co-op Valio Ltd.‘s carbon-neutral milk chain program was conducted. The authors interviewed 18 dairy farmers and examined their motivations and barriers to carbon-neutral practices. Their experiences and perceptions of justice, in the context of a carbon-neutral milk chain, were studied. This study elucidates how to shift to carbon-neutral agriculture in such a way that dairy farmers perceive this systemic change as justified and acceptable. The results indicate that from the farmers' perspective, three key justice issues need consideration: 1) profitability of farming, 2) blaming of farmers, and 3) use of agricultural peatlands.

Keywords: sustainable agriculture; carbon neutrality; dairy farming; farmers; climate policy; agricultural policy; justice

Free keywords: carbon-neutral farming; just transition; farming profitability; blaming farmers; agricultural peatlands

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:57