Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)


“Business as usual” or challenging the gendered structures in family forest farming

Umaerus, Patrik; Lidestav, Gun; Dolling, Ann; Lundell, Ylva


In Sweden, there are about 250,000 family forest farms (FFF), covering 14 million hectares of land and water, representing a market value of some 250 billion SEK, and providing our forest industry with some 40-50 million m3 round wood per year. Thus, the potential for both conventional business and diversification into new ventures is extensive. According to a member survey by The Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), there is a growth and diversification of alternative businesses run by private forest and farmland owners (Lantbrukarnas riksförbund 2009). However, traditional perceptions and on farming and forestry as well as gender structures, seems to hamper the development of new rural entrepreneurship. Such an assumption, can be based on previous research on family farming/family forestry, gender studies on labor market and small business, and social capital, claiming e.g. that the potential for new ventures are not limited only to the access to land and capital but also by the availability of social and commercial networks. In all respects gender is of great matter. Just like the labor market in general is gender segregated, with an underrepresentation of women in traditional male profession, women have not yet fully made their way into forestry. This gender structure is not solely depending on the constructing of gender within family forestry, but is interconnected to the gender construction in society, especially as most private forest owners are active as professionals outside the forest farm. Through an analysis of the LRF member database, focusing on what business activities the forest and farmland owners run today and their own expectations of the forthcoming development, we will explore the impact of gender on traditional and new business. We also intend to test the hypothesis that the less traditional (from a forestry perspective) and the less commodity oriented production, the higher the proportion of practicing women will be. Results will be discussed in relation to the theories of gender in family farming/forestry and the impact of social and commercial capital and networks

Publicerad i

Titel: Nordic Rural Futures: pressures and possibilities : research conference on the future of Nordic rural areas, May 3-5 2010, Uppsala, Sweden : book of abstracts

Utgivare: Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Nordic Rural Futures: Pressures and Possibilities Research Conference